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Public Health - Seattle & King County

Heart attack survival rate continues to climb in King County

Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Executive Constantine highlights latest cardiac survival rate achievement in EMS/Medic One Annual Report

The survival rate from cardiac arrest in King County has reached an all-time high of 57 percent, according to a new report released today by King County Executive Dow Constantine. Most other parts of the nation have survival rates that hover around 10 percent.

"People are alive today in King County who would not have survived in most other places in the country," said Executive Constantine. "Our EMS/Medic One system delivers rapid, high-quality critical care wherever you are."

The Emergency Medical Services (EMS)/Medic One 2013 Annual Report highlights this achievement and other activities that place this EMS/Medic One system among the world's best. The Executive has sent the report to the Metropolitan King County Council.

In 2012, the EMS system in King County responded to 172,700 calls to 9-1-1, including 48,010 for Advanced Life Support (ALS), the most serious or life-threatening injuries and illnesses. The average medic unit response time stayed steady at 7.5 minutes.

"Survival from cardiac arrest is the signature of quality for any EMS/Medic One system, and we continue to set the standard," said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County. King County's cardiac survival rate has increased from an above-average 27 percent in 2002 to 57 percent today.

The King County EMS/Medic One system is managed by the Emergency Medical Services Division of Public Health – Seattle & King County, and relies on a close partnership of thousands of professionals with fire departments, paramedic agencies, EMS dispatch centers, and hospitals to provide emergency care and save lives.

The full EMS 2013 Annual Report is available at www.kingcounty.gov/health/ems

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in King County operates in a coordinated partnership with five dispatch centers, seven paramedic providers, and 30 fire departments. Funded through a countywide Medic One/EMS Levy, the EMS system utilizes a layered-response system providing a continuum of care for people in need of emergency medical services.