November 27, 2014

Emergency Medicine

Race Against the Clock

Amy Keller | 10/1/2007

TEAMWORK: Collier County medical director Robert Tober and his EMS workers use a pit-crew approach to saving lives. [Photo: Nick Shirghio]

Three years ago, Collier County medical director Robert Tober was home watching a NASCAR race when he had an epiphany. Noting the split-second choreography of the pit crew performing specialized tasks on a race car, Tober wondered if emergency medical responders could use the same approach to treating patients in cardiac arrest.

Shortly thereafter, Tober began testing a new “pit-crew” approach to the lifesaving process. The drill goes something like this: One provider delivers 200 uninterrupted chest compressions to a victim. After two minutes, a second provider standing by with a powerful mechanical compression device known as an Autopulse machine works with the first provider to place the machine on the patient. A third EMT works on airway management while a fourth individual, the team leader, focuses on the patient’s heart rhythm, defibrillation and the delivery of medication.

Today, Collier County’s annual save rate is 37% — compared to the national average of 6% to 10%. Dan Bowman, deputy chief of the Collier County EMS/Fire Department, says the quality of an EMS system coupled with bystander response are key factors that influence the outcome of resuscitation efforts. For example, some casinos in Las Vegas have attained survival rates of 50% to 70% through aggressive training programs for their security officers. Seattle touts a 30% save rate thanks to its programs. New York City, by contrast, struggles to maintain a level above 2%.

Tags: Southwest, Healthcare

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single ditgital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

What your doctor won’t disclose
What your doctor won’t disclose

Wouldn’t you want to know if your doctor was a paid spokesman for a drug company? Or held personal beliefs incompatible with the treatment you want? Right now, in the US at least, your doctor simply doesn’t have to tell you about that. 

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

What's your favorite thing about the Thanksgiving break?

  • Spending time with family & friends
  • Shopping & deals
  • Eating!!
  • Watching sports
  • What break? I'm busy working!

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe