Collier, Fla., EMS Medical Director to be In National TV Spotlight

NAPLES, Fla. — Dr. Robert Tober will have an audience he never imagined to demonstrate a better way to save people suffering from cardiac arrest, an approach he developed that has propelled Collier County to have a phenomenal save rate of 37 percent.

Tober was in New York on Monday to tape a television segment for Good Morning America, where he discusses his pit-crew concept toward cardiac arrest and the value of chest compressions over mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

The segment is scheduled to air Thursday morning. Good Morning America is on ABC starting at 7 a.m. weekdays. Program officials couldn t be reached for details about a time slot for Tober s segment.

As medical director of Collier County s EMS, Tober designed a system whereby each person on an EMS team in the field has a specific task in responding to a patient in cardiac arrest, similar to how a pit crew in a NASCAR event has a specific job to save time to get the race car back on the track.

With heart attack patients, every second counts in maintaining a patient s blood flow and to save his or her life.

Tober developed the approach for EMS in 2004, coupled with refining a chest-compression-only approach for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, as opposed to a combination of chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth efforts that is promoted by the American Heart Association.

The compressions-only approach is more effective and eliminates the apprehension of strangers performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on strangers, Tober said.

We went against the American Heart Association s guidelines, he said.

Doing so brought great results for Collier s EMS to achieve a 37 percent cardiac arrest save rate, that is far above the national average of 6 percent to 10 percent.

Tober said he didn t know how Good Morning America learned of EMS achievements. Likewise, he expressed no nervousness about the program taping.

I m kind of excited because we have worked so desperately hard for this (cardiac save) program, he said.

For the program, he will demonstrate the chest-compression-only approach and show the audience how to use an AutoPulse, a device that helps improve blood flow.

In 2004, Collier s EMS was the first paramedic group in the state to purchase AutoPulse machines. In 2005, Collier s EMS was the first in the nation to equip ambulances with Audicor systems, a device that records heart sounds.

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