Friday, July 6, 2012
There is a growing body of evidence that Dispatcher-Assisted CPR can make a significant difference in cardiac arrest survival rate. By JERILYN FORSYTHE Cronkite News Service Longtime Mesa 911 operator LeAnn McLaws was skeptical at first. After 17 years of asking callers if they wanted to start giving CPR to a cardiac arrest victim, the department told her and others last fall to stop asking and begin telling: “I need you to start CPR.” “They’re very excited, they’re wanting help and you have to bring their focus to it,” McLaws said of the process of walking callers through CPR. “We are assertive … and have a calm voice and say, ‘This is what you’re doing,’ and not give them the option.” That seemingly simple change saved 13 lives from November to January in Mesa alone, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services, and McLaws is now a believer.