Naperville’s Nationally recognized CPR procedure helps people like Damar Hamlin

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According to the firefighter and paramedic at the Naperville Fire Department, Bill Croft, before 2019 Naperville’s survival rate of cardiac arrest was around 9%. Last year, Naperville’s survival rate was 21%, one of the highest of any fire departments in the country.

During Monday’s NFL game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills, Bills safety Damar Hamlin, suffered cardiac arrest on the field where his heartbeat was restored thanks to CPR and AED treatment. 

Over the past couple of years, the Naperville Fire Department has made its name nationally with the departments special cardiac arrest protocol called Advanced Cardiac Resuscitation (ACR).

“It’s a bundle of care that we use that work in synergy with each other to get a desired result. We’ve tried many different things over the past four decades, different modalities, medications, and we never really got a good result from that until now, “said Bill Croft, firefighter-paramedic for the NFP.

The steps of Advanced Cardiac Resuscitation

The ACR  helped Hamlin by following four specific steps

“The first thing is mechanical CPR. We use the auto pulses or auto pulse. And what that does, it does compressions for us. And it’s perfect compressions, perfect depth, perfect rate. It never gets distracted and never gets tired,” said Croft.

“Two, we use what is called a rescue pod, which is an impedance threshold device which helps return blood not only back to the heart but to the brain,” said Croft.

“Three, patient positioning, putting their heads up in a in a semi-Fowler’s or kind of semi reclined position it lets blood drain out of the brain which allows good blood to come back to the brain basically so somewhat common sense we’re using gravity in our favor for these patients,” said Croft.

“Fourth, we talk about de-emphasizing epinephrine while using diagnostic tools such as capnography to dictate when we’re going to give a drug and when we’re going to defibrillate a patient,” said Croft.  

CPR saving lives around the United States

Dan Smith, division chief of operations at the NFD, explains that CPR has proven to be a key factor in saving lives.

“So as long as CPR is being done, blood is flowing to your heart, it’s flowing to your brain. It’s kind of sustaining you until we can get some electricity to defibrillate,” said Dan Smith,

Hamlin’s cardiac arrest is something that was seen all around the country but he’s lucky that it happened in the spot that it did.

“He was in the perfect place for that, even though it was viewed by millions and millions of people that young man was in the perfect place to receive the best treatment by not only first responders, but doctors and the staff of those football teams. It was wonderful to see that. And early CPR detection and CPR was what saved his life,” said Croft.

The Naperville Fire Department offers CPR training classes twice a month and people interested can sign up online. 

Naperville News 17’s Anthony Yench

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