EMS and prevention of in-hospital cardiac arrests

Bernd W. Böttiger

What is the role of emergency medical services in preventing in-hospital cardiac arrest?

Bernd W. Böttiger, MD: I think medical emergency teams are very important to further increase survival in our in-hospital cardiac arrest patients. We have been recommending medical emergency teams in our guidelines since 2015 and we have several studies suggesting that these teams are very important.

In Germany we started to implement these medical emergency teams in hospitals, and we have data that in those hospitals where we have established these teams, the in-hospital cardiac arrest rate is 50% as compared to hospitals where we do not have medical emergency teams. That is a good signal and supports the introduction of these teams. They do not go to a patient who is in cardiac arrest, they come to the patient on the “peripheral” [regular] ward much earlier, and the patients have the chance not to go into cardiac arrest, which is the best therapy they can receive.

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