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Title: Hatzolah emergency medical responder service: to save a life.
Austin Authors: Chan, Tony;Braitberg, George;Elbaum, Danny;Taylor, David McD 
Affiliation: Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Issue Date: 18-Jun-2007
Publication information: Medical Journal of Australia; 186(12): 639-42
Abstract: "First responders" are people trained in advanced first aid who can respond at the same time as, and often more quickly than, ambulance services to suspected medical emergencies. Hatzolah is a volunteer First Responder group, based on halakhic (Jewish legal) principles, in a localised area of metropolitan Melbourne with the highest density of Holocaust survivors outside Israel. Low numbers of "call-outs" to Victoria's Metropolitan Ambulance Service (MAS) from this community suggested that many were reluctant to make contact with a "uniformed" external agency. Hatzolah is an autonomous organisation operating under adapted MAS clinical practice guidelines and clinical governance processes. Hatzolah responders undergo an 18-month MAS training course comprising first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the use of semiautomated defibrillators, and oxygen therapy. We describe the first 11 years (1995-2005) of the Hatzolah service. The number of patients attended to annually has risen steadily, peaking at 867 in 2005. The most frequent reasons for call-outs were falls (19.4%), chest pain (9.7%), or respiratory distress (7.6%). Hatzolah's median response times were 2 or 3 min for all cases. They attended 35 patients with cardiac arrest (median response time, 2 min), and arrived before the MAS to 29 call-outs (83%). Nineteen patients (54%) with cardiac arrest were resuscitated and transported from the scene alive. Among those transported, significantly more had a shockable cardiac rhythm (50% v 13%, P = 0.03). Five (14%) survived to hospital discharge. Hatzolah has evolved into an organisation providing a complementary service to the MAS. It serves as a model for the establishment of other metropolitan community First Responder groups.
Gov't Doc #: 17576181
Journal: Medical Journal of Australia
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Aged
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
Emergency Service, Hospital.utilization
Health Services Accessibility
Heart Arrest.epidemiology.therapy
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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