Higher up you live in a building, less likely you'll survive cardiac arrest
Survival rates among those suffering cardiac arrests drop substantially for people living above the third floor in high-rise buildings, according to the latest research.
Publishing in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers analyzed 8,216 people treated for cardiac arrests in high-rise private residences.
A write-up of the findings notes, "Of the 5,998 (73%) people living below the 3rd floor who had cardiac arrests, 252 (4.2%) survived the arrest, but only 48 (2.6%) of the 1,844 people living above the 3rd floor survived."
The study conducted by Rescu, a research group at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, measured the time between the arrival of an emergency vehicle and when first-responders reached the patient suffering cardiac arrest.
The authors write, "The 911 response time, from emergency activation to arrival of first responders on scene, will remain relatively constant, so long as traffic patterns do not change; however, the time from arrival on scene to initial patient contact may increase as more of the population comes to live at or above the third floor."
Thus, basic 911 response time may become less of a determinative factor for survival when compared to the time it takes for initial contact with a patient.