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Letter from the Chairman of the Taskforce

April 19th, 2017

Every year more than 350,000 people fall victim to sudden, unexplained out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Unfortunately, only about 1 in 10 victims survive this dramatic event. Early access to 911 and early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) are the first 2 links in the chain of survival from OHCA. While 911 is frequently accessed, in the majority of cases, OHCA victims do not receive bystander CPR and wait for the arrival of professional emergency rescuers.

The American Heart Association (AHA) has committed to doubling OHCA survival by 2020. The most immediate method to improve survival from OHCA is to improve bystander CPR rates. Rates of bystander CPR in most municipalities are low, especially among minority communities. In contrast, bystander CPR rates are highest in communities where public safety answering points (PSAPs), or dispatch centers, provide telephone CPR (T-CPR) instructions. In these communities, as much as 50% of bystander CPR is directly attributable to those just-in-time T-CPR directions.

Recognition of these circumstances prompted the AHA to convene a taskforce of resuscitation experts to address the challenges of providing T-CPR. This taskforce was charged with creating a set of recommendations for performing T-CPR and a toolkit for agencies seeking to meet these important metrics. The goal of the AHA and this taskforce is every 911 call is answered by a PSAP ready to provide lifesaving T-CPR.

On this site, you will find program and performance recommendations for T-CPR. These recommendations were created by the T-CPR taskforce and vetted during a 90-day public comment period during Autumn 2016. In addition, you will find a comprehensive guide to implementing T-CPR in your community. With your assistance, these recommendations will help achieve our goal of doubling survival rates from OHCA.

On behalf of the T-CPR taskforce,
Michael Kurz
Michael Christopher Kurz, MD, MS-HES, FACEP, FAHA
American Heart Association
Vice Chair – Emergency Cardiovascular Care Systems of Care Subcommittee
Volunteer Chair, T-CPR Taskforce

Meet the Taskforce

Michael C. Kurz, MD, MS, FACEP, FAHA – Chair (T-CPR Taskforce)
Associate Professor
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of Alabama School of Medicine

Dr. Michael C. Kurz is a Physician Scientist at the Alabama Resuscitation Center and an Associate Professor at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Kurz serves as the vice-chair of the AHA Emergency Cardiovascular Care subcommittee on Systems of Care and contributed to the 2015 AHA guidelines.

His primary focus is on intra-arrest care, coagulation dysfunction following cardiac arrest, post-resuscitation care, and rehabilitation for brain injury.

Dr. Nabeel A. Arain is a Science and Medicine Advisor (SMA) for the American Heart Association’s Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) programs. He serves as the chief SMA for the ECC Systems of Care subcommittee. Dr. Arain is also involved in the medical and scientific review process for the AHA’s adult (ACLS) and pediatric (PALS) advanced life support resuscitation programs.

Dr. Bentley J. Bobrow is a Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and Medical Director for the Arizona Department of Health Services Bureau of EMS and Trauma System. He also serves as Associate Director of the University of Arizona’s Emergency Medicine Research Center. Dr. Bobrow’s focus is on implementing and measuring systems of care for time-sensitive emergency medical conditions including out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, STEMI, and traumatic brain injury. His expertise directly led to the tripling of survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest victims in the state of Arizona.

Julie Buckingham has served the King County EMS since 2012 as the EMD QI Program Manager, and is also a faculty member of the Resuscitation Academy. She has been active in the public safety communications industry for over 18 years, serving as a telecommunicator, CTO, tactical dispatch team member and team leader, EMD/T-CPR instructor, peer support team member, and supervisor training and accreditation program manager. Her primary focus is on the role of telecommunicators in cardiac arrest survival.

Dr. Jose G. Cabanas is a board-certified emergency medicine and EMS physician with expertise on prehospital systems of care, continuous quality improvement, and resuscitation. Dr. Cabanas is the Medical Director for Wake County EMS Systems in Raleigh, North Carolina. Dr. Cabanas currently serves as a member of the National AHA ECC Systems of Care committee and Mission Lifeline Resuscitation Committee.

Dr. Mickey Eisenberg has been involved in emergency medicine, emergency medical services, and sudden cardiac arrest research for over four decades. He served as the Director of the Emergency Department at the University of Washington Medical Center from 1978-2003 and was the Medical Director of the King County EMS from 2001-2015. He has over 200 scientific publications and 15 books on cardiac arrest, including a history of cardiac resuscitation.

Micah Panczyk is a 911 CPR Program Manager at the Arizona Department of Health Services. He has co-authored several peer-reviewed papers on Telephone CPR and has served as faculty and an invited speaker at resuscitation academies across the world.

Dr. Kevin G. Seaman is the Executive Director of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS). He oversaw implementation of an evidence-based performance improvement initiative and completed the process of electronic transfer of patient care data from the Maryland eMEDS patient care report to the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES). Dr. Seaman continues to lead the Maryland Statewide Cardiac Arrest Steering Committee (CASC) and serves as a physician adviser to the Maryland Dispatch Telephone CPR subcommittee.

Dr. Christian Vaillancourt is an Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Ottawa. He also serves as an Associate Medical Director for the regional paramedic program for Eastern Ontario. His primary focus is on prehospital care, specifically improving the care and survival for cardiac arrest and trauma victims.