Improving the Odds of Surviving Cardiac Arrest in Central Illinois

Jun 29, 2017

The Sudden cardiac arrest survival rate in Peoria is nearly double the national average at 13 percent. Local health officials are working together to further improve the bottom line. 

It’s a four-part bundle of care response to cases of sudden cardiac arrest. About 30 professionals across multiple fields attended a cardiac arrest workshop Wednesday at Bradley University to learn more about program and some of the latest advances in care.

Doctor Keith Lurie is an expert in the field of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and is the co-founder of Take Heart America. He says when it comes to improving outcomes, restarting the heart isn’t enough.

Dr Lurie says they’ve implement changes in care to improve cardiac arrest survival. “We’ve got to improve blood flow to the brain. We’ve got to improve ways to protecting the brain, which is one of the reasons why we’ve started tilting the head up with some of our newer methods of CPR. It’s one of the reasons we cool down the body after cardiac arrest to give the brain time to heal.”   

Dr Lurie says even though it’s a person’s heart that has stopped, the brain is now the target organ to recover.

The four bundles or principals of the Take Heart concept look like this.
Credit Takeheartamerica.org

He says medicine is also still largely in the early stages of finding some of the best ways of treating cardiac arrest. “But we now know we can take overall survival rates, regardless of the cause. We know can get overall survival rates north of 30-percent, with good neurological function and if you have a shockable rhythm and it’s witnessed we can get overall survival rates up to 75-percent in communities.”  

Doctor Lurie says Rialto, California is of similar size to Peoria and has a 32-percent survival rate. But he says Peoria and Rockford are leading the state when it comes to surviving sudden cardiac arrest.  

The only requirement for a city to participate in the Take Heart Program is to collect data on cardiac arrest outcomes and share it.