Rebecca Scott is alive today because of CPR.
The Wellesley resident collapsed and went into cardiac arrest while playing tennis last year. Luckily, someone nearby by knew CPR and was able to keep Scott alive.
Not everyone who goes into cardiac arrest in Massachusetts is as fortunate.
That’s why the American Heart Association supports a bill that would require 911 operators in Massachusetts to be trained in how to deliver CPR instructions over the phone. NBC10 Boston medical reporter Kristy Lee reported on efforts to pass the bill on Thursday night’s newscast.
Watch the piece here or by clicking the image below.
Dr. Joseph Sabato, the medical director for Worcester 911 Telecommunications, told Lee that hundreds of lives could be saved every year by requiring all 911 operators to be trained in delivering CPR instructions over the phone.
“We have some delays that are caused by our system,” said Sabato.
If you call 911 in Massachusetts because someone is in cardiac arrest, there’s a good chance the first person you reach will not able to give you CPR instructions over the phone.
Here’s why: In some Massachusetts communities, when you call 911, you’ll reach the Massachusetts State Police. They’re not trained in delivering CPR instructions over the phone. To make matters worse, your call could then be transferred to your local police/fire dispatcher, who are also not trained in telephone CPR.
It’s not until your call is transferred a second time – to an emergency medical dispatcher – that the you will receive CPR instructions.
By that point, it could be too late. Survival drops by 10 percent for each minute that passes without CPR being performed, said Sabato.
“When someone has a cardiac arrest every second counts,” he said.