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Cypress Creek EMS disagrees with recent coverage

Cypress Creek EMS is concerned that your article of June 10th, 2004 titled “Huffman medics’ CPR investigated” does not accurately portray our treatment of cardiac arrest patients or the “controversy” surrounding the issue. We offer the following to clear up any misunderstandings.

CCEMS has a long history of providing nationally recognized award winning service to the citizens of our community. There is no current, past, or anticipated investigation into our treatment protocols.

On April 12th, 2004, CCEMS Medical Director Levon Vartanian, MD implemented several important changes in the way we perform Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Defibrillation in order to increase the number of lives saved for victims of cardiac arrest.

While CCEMS continues to strongly support the use of Automatic External Defibrillators for victims of cardiac arrest (we have placed over 100 AED’s in our community) we now have our responders perform 90 seconds of chest compressions before using the AED. This has been shown to dramatically enhance survival when response times are greater than 4 minutes. We do not tell responders “not to use the AED” as quoted in your article.

We continue to require that our personnel provide ventilation during cardiac arrest. The only exception to this would be the rare circumstance where one of our single person responders (e.g. law enforcement officer) was “unable to perform ventilations”.

According to Jerry Potts, Director of Science for Emergency Cardiac Care Programs at the American Heart Association, the memo from Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services “misrepresents our policy in such matters”. Dr. Potts goes on to say that the AHA publishes “Guidelines” and that each agency should “develop policies and practices that best accommodate the specific needs of their patient base” exactly as we have done in this instance.

We are not alone in implementing this change. Other leading services like Seattle’s Medic One and the Richmond Ambulance Authority are also seeing positive results. Our long history of being a leader in our field is a result of having methods in place to rapidly deploy advancements in patient care. CCEMS should be applauded for rapidly adopting the latest science to benefit the patients in our community, not be made subject to allegations of controversy and “investigation”. Perhaps a better title to your story would have been “Huffman medics implement new life saving procedures”.

If anyone has questions or would like to be educated on this material we urge you to please contact us at 281.440.9650.

Allen Sims, EMT-P
Director of Operations

Levon Vartanian, MD
Medical Director