MedStar dispatcher credits RQI-coached skills helped her to save a life


With the holiday season quickly approaching, call volumes in 911 centers tend to start increasing.  On November 7, 2021, MedStar dispatcher Valerie Carson was working her shift when a frantic 911 call came to her console.  A woman was reporting her father was found unconscious and not breathing.  Valerie knew time was short and she needed to calm the caller enough that she would comply with telecommunicator CPR (T-CPR) instructions.

Valerie worked with the caller, providing calming techniques such as persistent repetition, a calm clear voice and encouragement.  Once the caller was able to put her panic aside, Valerie gave her lifesaving T-CPR instructions, encouraging her to continue providing CPR until help arrived.  Throughout the call Valerie monitored the caller’s compression rate, utilizing her RQI coached skills to correct the compression rate and keep T-CPR going.

Upon arrival, paramedics found the caller performing CPR and the patient still down.  They took over and were able to revive the patient, transporting him to the hospital.  Later, Valerie learned that the patient arrested a second time in the ambulance and had to be revived a second time.

Valerie learned that the patient had survived his arrest and was discharged 3 days later.  She was able to meet with the family and visit with the daughter who had called 911.  Through that meeting, the daughter was able to learn that her actions saved her father, and she was awarded a LifeSaver plaque from MedStar. Valerie says “I was so excited to meet the father [patient], as it is rare to meet survivors, especially so quickly after the event” She adds “RQI T-CPR gives us real-time practice without actually having a patient whose life is at risk.  The opportunity to fine-tune our skills and recognize Cardiac arrest sooner has been a benefit for our patients and our agency, as well as keeping a steady compression rate to increase survivability.”

RQI Partners Quality Manager, Adriene noted on this call that “Valerie did a fantastic job managing the caller, utilizing skills to get the caller where needed to be to get the job done.”  Together, the team saved a life and another survivor has a story to tell.

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