EMS Tips Operations

Team Approach to Cardiac Arrest Patients

Everyday EMS Tips readers know that cardiac arrest patients require an “all-hands on deck” approach to provide compressions, shock when advised and perform other interventions like airway management, ventilations, and drug administration. In a post about Cardiocerebral Resuscitation (CCR) Paramedic blogger CKEMTP wrote about using the Incident Command System (ICS) approach to manage cardiac arrest patients. His idea to have a code commander, CPR sector officer and assign other positions in the resuscitation is a good one – read the full post.

I have previously written about using the pit crew concept to cardiac arrest patients. Just like a race team jumps the wall to change the tires and add fuel to the 48 car, EMS professionals should divide responsibilities to care for different parts of the patient. What do you think of these Cardiac Arrest Patient Pit Crew assignments:

Paramedic 1: Crew Leader. Rhythm analysis and interpretation. Deliver electricity. (this person is Chris’ Code Commander)

Paramedic 2: Gain IV or IO access, administer drugs. (Drug sector officer)

Paramedic 3 or EMT 1: Place visualized or non-visualized airway. (Airway sector officer)

EMT 1: Alternate chest compressions and bag valve mask ventilation. (CPR sector officer)

EMT 2: Alternate bag valve mask ventilation and chest compressions. (CPR sector crew member)

Police officer: Gather evidence – medical history, time of collapse, time of discovery (History sector officer)

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.