CENTREVILLE — On July 24, a sudden cardiac arrest death struck a patron at the Queenstown Moose Lodge. At about 10:15 p.m. the Queen Anne’s County Department of Emergency Services 911 center received a call for a non-breathing and unresponsive subject at the Moose Lodge on Main Street.
Trained emergency medical dispatchers processed the 911 call and provided CPR instructions to bystanders, who immediately started this life-saving technique as well as off-duty volunteer fire and EMS department members.
As the 911 dispatchers were assisting the caller with CPR instructions, emergency units from Queenstown Volunteer Fire Department, Queen Anne’s County Department of Emergency Services; Advanced Life Support paramedic ambulances and the EMS duty officer were dispatched to the scene.
In addition to the fire and EMS resources, on-duty deputies with the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office also responded. All sheriff’s patrol vehicles are equipped with automated external defibrillators. Deputies, who were in the immediate area, arrived and provided the time-critical electrical shock with their AED to the lifeless individual and continued CPR.
Emergency responders from the Queen Anne’s County Department of Emergency Services arrived, administered additional electrical shocks and provided advanced pre-hospital cardiac care, including life-saving medications.
Once all rapid interventions were administered, the patient regained a pulse. The patient was transported by county paramedic ambulance to the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton.
Paramedics alerted the hospital to prepare the cardiac cath lab. When the ambulance arrived at the hospital, the patient was conscious and talking with the emergency services clinicians as well as the nursing staff.
The American Heart Association states the chain of survival must be in place for a cardiac arrest victim to survive. These chains consist of (1) early recognition and activation of the 911 system; (2) Bystander CPR; (3) Early defibrillation; and finally (4) advanced life support care and transport to a cardiac hospital.
In the last several years, Emergency Services has worked diligently to put measures in place to better the survival rate when a cardiac arrest occurs, including citizen CPR and AED training. In conjunction with the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office, AED’s were purchased by the County Commissioners and placed in all sheriff patrol vehicles. The Emergency Services fleet has been equipped with the most modern life-saving equipment to assist those suffering a medical or traumatic injury in their time of need.
“With the support of the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners, we have been empowered to purchase the best equipment and life-saving devices to better serve the public,” said Scott Wheatley, chief of emergency medical services. “This incident is a perfect example of the system and chain of survival working for a positive outcome.”
Sheriff Gary Hofmann said, “This is another example of great cooperation among allied agencies. Good training and experience are vital skills that both my agency and emergency personnel in Queen Anne’s County both share. I’m very proud of my staff for their quick efforts and the successful outcome of saving one of our community members.”
With continued support from the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners, First Responder agencies and the visitors and citizens of the county, Emergency Services will continue to expand the AED program to include additional county vehicles and to provide the highest level of pre-hospital emergency medicine to the community.
Public education is planned for this fall, including hands-only CPR, AED training, and another educational video for response and expectations during emergencies.