MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
An early morning train ride to work turned into a text book example of the “Chain of Survival.” An in-bound MARC commuter train was approaching the Beltsville stop in the 7000 block of Murkirk Road around 8:00 am. The conductor was notified that an adult male passenger had fallen to the floor apparently from a heart attack in one of the cars. Fellow commuters rushed to the man’s aid and initiated cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) while others notified 911 and the conductor rushed to the train car with an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). The AED was applied and shocked the unconscious man that was in cardiac arrest.
Firefighter/Medics from Beltsville Fire/EMS Station 831 and Calverton Fire/EMS Station 841 were the first units to arrive and continued CPR and prepared the man for transport. A paramedic unit from Burtonsville, Montgomery County Station 715, was next to arrive and continued pre-hospital care while transporting to a medical facility. By the time the medics reached the hospital the patient had regained spontaneous circulation.
The Montgomery County Medics had transmitted the patient’s ECG to the receiving facility during transport, allowing the medics and the hospital staff to see that a cardiac catherization would be required. Within minutes of arrival at the hospital the patient, with a pulse, was on the way to a cath lab, which provided the patient the best possible chance for a positive outcome.
Most emergency medical services professionals know that the Chain of Survival is critical in saving victims of sudden cardiac arrest. This chain includes immediate notification to 911, by-stander CPR, early defibrillation, advanced life support care and transportation to a medical facility capable of providing acute services is key to surviving sudden cardiac arrest. This patient was afforded all of these key services.
Thank you to the citizens that made fast notification to 911,without hesitation went to help a stranger and perform CPR, for MARC trains for carrying an AED, for the rapid response and professional care provided by Prince George’s, Montgomery County Firefighters/Medics and hospital emergency department staff. Finally, to the technology that allows hospitals to receive vital information from medics in the field allowing staff to make timely arrangements for intensive medical care.
Todays collective actions by all involved provided this man with the best opportunity to survive.