Cardiovascular disease is a significant source of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Approximately 300,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest in the prehospital environment every year. Emergency medical service (EMS) personnel attempt to resuscitate about 60 percent of those patients. Although the American Heart Association (AHA) has continuously revised cardiac arrest treatment algorithms over the last 30 years, only about 8 percent of the patients who suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest will survive long enough for discharge from a hospital.
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