Hypothesis: Do paramedics influence the outcome of out of hospital cardiac arrests in a rural setting?
Methods: Retrospective analysis of cardio-respiratory arrests of ALS-EMS system in rural Southeastern Alaska for 9 years. There were two patient groups treated by EMT-III or paramedics. EMT-III vs. paramedics differ in training/experience but not technical skills. Statistical analyses were done by chi square.
Results: Thirty-seven patients (52%) were treated by paramedics, thirty-four (48%) by EMT-III. Demographics/CPR variables for the groups were not significantly different. Comparing paramedics vs. EMT-III: successful ET placement (87% vs. 62%, p <0.02), successful IV placement (87% vs. 62%, p <0.02), return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) 46% (17/37 pts.) vs. 18% (6/34 pts.) (p = 0.01), ICU admission 38% (14/37) vs. 15% (5/34) (p = 0.03), hospital discharge 20% (7/35) vs. 9% (3/34) (p = NS). There was no correlation between successful ET placement or IV insertion and outcome.