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New techniques save more lives of heart attack victims

AURORA, Colo. — Seconds count when your heart suddenly stops and you go into cardiac arrest. The Aurora Fire Department and The Medical Center of Aurora are teaming up to improve your chances of survival.

The Aurora Fire Department coined the phrase “resuscitation choreography” three years ago. And now, they have integrated it into the Medical Center of Aurora.

Dr. Gilbert Pineda, EMS Medical Director for Aurora said, “You have to have a set choreography, set time to do certain steps in the process of chest compressions. So we said let’s get everyone to work together. The process is to get what they do in the field to get the hospital to do the same thing essentially or work together well, so you have a well choreographed process of transferring the patient.”

The Aurora Fire Department recognized how important CPR was in saving lives of people in cardiac arrest.

Emergency crews have monitors that tell them the quality of their chest compressions. And now that they are on the same page as the hospital staff, those critical chest compressions don’t have to stop while transferring the patients.

Kevin Waters is the EMS Bureau Manager for Aurora Fire. He said, “The most exciting thing about this is we now resuscitate more cardiac arrest patients than we ever have in the past. The first year we implemented resuscitation choreography, we were able to resuscitate more patients than we did in the previous three years combined.”

Cindy O’Brion went into cardiac arrest last October. She said, “I don’t remember much. I was in a coma for eight days. There was someone watching over me. My angels were there. I’ve been given a second chance.”

She didn’t know what the paramedics, firefighters and doctors did that day, but she is thankful. O’Brion said, “Look at me. I wasn’t there, but I can imagine. They really saved my life. I love them .. very thankful.”

Firefighters and paramedics say when someone collapses, the first few seconds can be critical, so they encourage everyone to learn CPR.

They recommend watching the American Heart Association short video. They say it is only 68 seconds, and watching it could save a life. Watch the video here.