San Juan County’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies reported a 100% survival rate following cardiac arrest from a heart rhythm that can be defibrillated in 2022, the highest survival rate in Washington State. The national survival rate following this type of cardiac arrest was 32% according to the data in the Cardiac Arrest Registry (CARES) Report.
The county’s survival rate for all cardiac arrests is the second highest rate in Washington State per the CARES report. In 2022, San Juan County had a 28% survival rate following cardiac arrest; this is a significantly higher than the national average of 8% survival.
The Medical Director for San Juan County, Joshua Corsa, noted, “San Juan County’s cardiac arrest survival rates reflect the dedication our county has to continuing education, quality care, and outreach. I am extremely proud of San Juan County’s emergency services.”
Assistant Chief of Training and Operations at San Juan Island EMS, T. J. Bishop, stated, “A 100% survival rate following this type of cardiac arrest means that no patients treated with an AED or defibrillator died during care by our agencies. This is an extremely impressive metric and demonstrates the experience and education our Paramedics and EMTs have regarding cardiac emergency care in our community.”
One contributing factor to San Juan County’s high survival rates can be attributed to the county’s rigorous training standards for their EMTs and Paramedics. San Juan Island EMS hosts monthly department and county-wide training opportunities for Paramedics and EMTs, and each agency is required by Medical Director Joshua Corsa to meet specific training standards each calendar year.
Lopez Island Fire Chief Adam Bigby recognized the impact an educated public can make on cardiac, and stroke save rates, stating, “The San Juans, including Lopez Island has the most AEDs per capita in Washington State. The number of citizens that we have taking CPR First Aid classes and learning how to use an AED is astounding. Early CPR is vital when it comes to survivability and a quality life after a cardiac arrest”.
San Juan County EMS and Fire Agencies offer CPR & AED Training to the public at nominal costs. To schedule a CPR & First Aid training, contact your island’s EMS agency.