Publications by authors named "Christopher Velasquez"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Does Experience Matter? Paramedic Cardiac Resuscitation Experience Effect on Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Outcomes.

Prehosp Emerg Care 2018 May-Jun;22(3):332-337. Epub 2017 Dec 22.

Objective: Outcomes of Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) are influenced by many factors. We postulate that paramedics who have participated in a greater number of OHCA resuscitations will have improved patient outcomes when compared to paramedics who participated in fewer resuscitations.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data abstracted from the cardiac arrest database of a large urban EMS system. All OHCA cases where resuscitation was attempted during the year 2014 were reviewed. Our outcome of interest was the rate of sustained Return of Spontaneous Circulation (ROSC), which is defined as ROSC for five continuous minutes or greater. The rate of sustained ROSC was calculated from cases when paramedics served in the role of the lead medic. These rates were then analyzed using the Chi-Square test.

Results: A total of 1,145 cases of OHCA met criteria for inclusion in this study, of which 343 paramedics participated in at least one cardiac arrest in 2014. The median number of resuscitations was 10 with a range from 1 to 26 resuscitations. The paramedics were dichotomized into two groups; those who participated in <10 OHCAs (120/343), labeled "less experienced," and those who participated in ≥10 OHCAs (223/343), labeled "more experienced." Paramedics in the less experienced group had a sustained ROSC rate of 22.2% for resuscitations in which they were the lead medic, while those in the more experienced group had a rate of 28.9% (p-value = 0.047), RR 1.30 (95% CI 1.001, 1.692).

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that more experienced paramedics had a statistically significant increase in achieving sustained ROSC when they were functioning in a lead role compared to less experienced paramedics. We found no other clinically significant patient outcomes related to the provider's experience.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10903127.2017.1392665DOI Listing
April 2019

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: The Great Imitator.

Spartan Med Res J 2017 Aug 24;2(1):6343. Epub 2017 Aug 24.

Beaumont Hospital Southshore Campus, Trenton, MI. Michigan State University Department of Neurology & Ophthalmology, East Lansing MI.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is one of the leading causes of poison deaths in the United States. Signs and symptoms are clinically variable secondary to inconsistent targeting of highly metabolic tissues by the gas. We report a case of a man in his early to mid-30's presenting to the emergency department with mental status changes, fatigue, headache, and flu-like symptoms for three days. The patient had been working on his motor vehicles in the garage during this time, using a portable diesel powered space heater to keep warm. Subsequent neurology and cardiology workup demonstrated bilateral globus pallidus (GP) lesions on brain imaging, increased non-myocardial infarction troponin levels, carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) level of 3.8%, elevated liver enzymes, and acute kidney failure. In this setting of his delayed presentation as a smoker with carbon monoxide poisoning, carboxyhemoglobin levels alone become less reliable. This report investigates the use of bilateral GP lesions, the most frequently affected structure, as well as damage preference to highly metabolic tissues to assist in diagnosis and prognosis for CO poisoning. Our observations can be used for further study of the relationship between bilateral GP necrosis and initial presentation and outcome of patients experiencing CO poisoning leading to earlier recognition, treatment, and decreased morbidity/mortality.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7746039PMC
August 2017

Time to epinephrine in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: A retrospective analysis of intraosseous versus intravenous access.

Am J Disaster Med 2016 ;11(2):119-123

Medical Director, Office of the Medical Director, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas.

Introduction: The 2015 advanced cardiac life support update continues to advocate administering epinephrine during cardiac arrest. The goal of our study is to determine if prehospital intraosseous (IO) access results in shorter time to epinephrine than prehospital peripheral intravenous (PIV) access.

Methods: The out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) database of a large, urban, fire-based emergency medical services system was searched for consecutive cases of OHCA between January 2013 and December 2015. The time to the first dose of epinephrine was calculated and compared by vascular access technique utilized (PIV or IO). Descriptive statistics were used to report first pass success and IO complications.

Results: A total of 3,470 OHCA cases were treated during the study period. Of those cases, 2,656 met our inclusion criteria. There were 2,601 cases of IO usage and 55 cases of PIV usage. The mean time from arrival at the patient's side to administration of the first dose of epinephrine was 5.0 minutes (95% CI: 4.7 minutes, 5.4 minutes) for the IO group and 8.8 minutes (95% CI: 6.6 minutes, 10.9 minutes) for the PIV group (p<0.001). There were a total of 2,879 IO attempts with 2,753 IOs successfully placed in 2,601 patients. The first pass IO success rate was 95.6 percent (2,753/2,879).

Conclusion: In the setting of OHCA, the time to administer the first dose of epinephrine was faster in the IO access group when compared to PIV access group. The prehospital use of IO vascular access for time-dependent medical conditions is recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5055/ajdm.2016.0230DOI Listing
June 2017

Cardiac arrest survival is rare without prehospital return of spontaneous circulation.

Prehosp Emerg Care 2012 Oct-Dec;16(4):451-5. Epub 2012 Jul 26.

Department of Emergency Health Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas 78229, USA.

Background: Emergency medical services (EMS) are crucial in the management of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Despite accepted termination-of-resuscitation criteria, many patients are transported to the hospital without achieving field return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC).

Objective: We examine field ROSC influence on OHCA survival to hospital discharge in two large urban EMS systems.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data was conducted. Data collection is a component of San Antonio Fire Department's comprehensive quality assurance/quality improvement program and Cincinnati Fire Department's participation in the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES) project. Attempted resuscitations of medical OHCA and cardiac OHCA for San Antonio and Cincinnati, respectively, from 2008 to 2010 were analyzed by city and in aggregate.

Results: A total of 2,483 resuscitation attempts were evaluated. Age and gender distributions were similar between cities, but ethnic profiles differed. Cincinnati had 17% (p = 0.002) more patients with an initial shockable rhythm and was more likely to initiate transport before field ROSC. Overall survival to hospital discharge was 165 of 2,483 (6.6%). More than one-third (894 of 2,483, 36%) achieved field ROSC. Survival with field ROSC was 17.2% (154 of 894) and without field ROSC was 0.69% (11 of 1,589). Of the 11 survivors transported prior to field ROSC, nine received defibrillation by EMS. No asystolic patient survived to hospital discharge without field ROSC.

Conclusion: Survival to hospital discharge after OHCA is rare without field ROSC. Resuscitation efforts should focus on achieving field ROSC. Transport should be reserved for patients with field ROSC or a shockable rhythm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10903127.2012.695435DOI Listing
February 2013