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Follow-up On Life Saved Through Effective Intervention

Crater Lake National Park

National Park News

On July 16th, park staff responded to a woman complaining of chest pain at the park’s remote north entrance station (click on this link for the initial report). The woman subsequently went into cardiac arrest and was successfully resuscitated by park EMS personnel. The cardiologist who treated the woman recently called the park to report that the incident had had a positive outcome and to say that every link in the chain of response and treatment resulted in saving her life.  Key factors included the following:

Prompt recognition of the problem.

Effective CPR with fast, deep chest compressions.

Prompt use of an AED.

Early ordering of the life flight, as the woman likely would not have survived a ground transport.

Getting the patient on a cardiac and breathing machine as soon as she arrived at the hospital in Medford.

Implanting a new stent and placing the patient on a hypothermia machine.

The cardiologist said that survival rates for CPR/AED events are less than 10%.  The woman’s previously implanted stent had become completely clogged. She arrested 12 times after arriving at the hospital and was shocked back each time. But she was off the cardiac machine within three days, was off breathing tubes and other interventions within seven days, and was discharged from the hospital 12 days following the incident.  While the full extent of damage to her heart may not be known for a few more weeks, her survival is the result of every person in the chain of care working together, providing excellent treatment and making wise decisions.  The doctor plans to submit the story of the incident to the American Heart Association due to the remote nature of the incident and the positive outcome.


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