MADISON, Wis. — Although the loss of Dr. Darren Bean will be felt deeply at the Madison Fire Department, his commitment to cutting edge, life-saving programs will live on, vows Jim Keiken, assistant chief of planning and training for the department.
“We’re going to continue to strive to make his vision a reality,” Keiken said Monday. “And make it a vision for other people on how a regional cooperative EMS system could work.”
Bean, who has served as the Madison Fire Department’s medical director since January 2007, died on Saturday when his Med Flight helicopter crashed near La Crosse. Also killed was nurse Mark Coyne and pilot Steve Lipperer.
Keiken said Bean, an assistant professor with the UW School of Medicine and director of ultrasound for the UW Hospital emergency department, worked hard to improve the success rate of emergency calls.
“That may very well be the legacy Dr. Bean leaves for all of us,” he said.
Perhaps Bean’s greatest impact was his pioneering work with cardiocerebral resuscitation. CCR is a relatively new protocol in which a paramedic and other responders rapidly compress the victim’s chest 100 times per minute.
The new protocol is superior to cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, which requires emergency responders to stop after applying 30 compressions, Keiken said.
“Every time you stop, the blood stops immediately. It takes about 40 compressions to achieve the best or optimal blood flow, so every time you stop it goes back to zero again.”
Bean, in studies with fellow doctors in Tucson, Ariz., and Rockford, Ill., found that if CCR is performed at the rate of 100 compressions per minute optimum blood flow is provided.
Keiken cited data showing that with CPR, 8 percent to 10 percent of victims are resuscitated. He said that data on CCR has found up to a 40 percent successful resuscitation rate.
“It’s had the most significant impact on resuscitations since the 1960s,” Keiken said. “And cutting-edge resuscitation techniques help improve the quality of life of people.”
Through Bean’s efforts, there is also now a county-wide emergency medical system in place.
“This will be the first time all paramedic units in Dane County will have the same protocol,” Keiken said. “They will all practice in the very same way.”
Bean also was working to change the way continuing emergency medical education is done in Dane County. Keiken said Bean established a simulation lab where emergency medical personnel could practice on sophisticated mannequins and learn immediately from their mistakes. He praised the way Bean’s teaching methods helped in developing a comfort level in this area of work.
Bean’s emphasis on computer-based learning also “enabled education to be available when students wanted it instead of when the teacher was ready,” Keiken said.