4 May 2022

Cardiac survival rates down as PPE impairs CPR performance

From Nine To Noon, 9:30 am on 4 May 2022
St John Ambulance paramedics performing CPR

St John Ambulance paramedics performing CPR Photo: @LeeHowell2013

Fewer New Zealanders are surviving cardiac arrests outside the hospital, and St John Ambulance believes wearing PPE may be impairing officers' ability to perform CPR effectively. Survival rates are down for the second year in a row.  They've dropped from 13 percent in the year to July 2019, pre-pandemic, to 11 percent in the 12 months to July last year.  Survival rates are counted as people still alive 30 days after a cardiac arrest. In the year to July 2021, almost 2000 cardiac arrests were treated in the community, with 25 percent living long enough to get to hospital, down from 27 percent two years earlier. So what's behind the drop in survival rates? Kathryn speaks with Medical Director of St John ambulance services, Dr Tony Smith.

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