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January 3, 1972

Cardiac Defibrillation by Ambulance Attendants

Author Affiliations

From the Coronary Care Committee, Good Samaritan Hospital (Dr. Rose), the University of Oregon Medical School (Drs. Rose and Press), and the Oregon State Board of Health (Dr. Press), Portland, Ore.

JAMA. 1972;219(1):63-68. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190270035009

Defibrillation by ambulance attendants was the goal of the Oregon Coronary Ambulance Project organized in 1969 by the Oregon State Board of Health in cooperation with a private ambulance company, a community hospital, and the county medical society. Highly motivated ambulance personnel were trained so that they achieved a high degree of accuracy in the interpretation of life-threatening electrocardiographic arrhythmias, and by persistent vigorous cardiopulmonary resuscitation combined with defibrillation were able to salvage seven out of 14 patients, without telemetry, all of whom were subsequently discharged from the hospital. The feasibility of incorporating this service on a practical basis into the community medical system with conservation of medical manpower and at a low cost to the patient was demonstrated.