Illinois Heart Rescue (ILHR) is a State-wide Quality Assurance / Quality Improvement project for the State of Illinois. Operating under grant funds from the Medtronic Foundation, we are tasked with doubling neurologically intact survival for victims of out of hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA), over a five-year period. The project is multi-focal and relies on volunteer support from pre-hospital systems, hospitals and community leaders/organizations.
ILHR is working with EMS agencies to improve cardiac arrest protocols as well as refine data collection. Utilizing best practices such as Incident Command or Pit Crew Resuscitation is one example. Dramatic increase in survival is seen when EMS crews stay on scene for life-saving resuscitation versus attempting lesser quality CPR while racing to the hospital. In addition, through early recognition and clear direction, 911 Dispatch initiated CPR greatly improves outcomes.
ILHR is partnering with hospital leaders to promote best practices related to ongoing resuscitation care and post return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) care. The critical hours and days after a cardiac event can be greatly influenced by the post care received. Through collaboration with university hospital systems, community systems and critical access systems, ILHR is developing protocol toolboxes or resources that will promote excellence in care.
Bystander CPR and AED use can double or triple survival rates for OHCA victims. Simplified instructions of Hands-Only CPR and AED use can be taught in 15 minutes. ILHR is partnering with community leaders/organizations, schools and faith-based groups to learn CPR/AED and then to “pay it forward” by teaching others. The Community Sphere also promotes education related to early activation of 911, early recognition of cardiac events, understanding the role of EMS, risk assessment and health promotion.
Data is the cornerstone of the ILHR project. Detailed and reliable data allows for identification of “hot spot” communities that have a higher incidence of OHCA, EMS performance metrics, and hospital outcomes. The data will allow for on-going quality improvement for EMS, hospitals and the State to ensure greater neurologically intact survival.