"Cardiac arrests that occur in high-rise buildings pose unique barriers for 911-initiated first responders," said Ian Drennan, lead author of the study.
    
Looking at data from 8,216 adults who suffered an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest treated by 911-initiated first responders in the City of Toronto and nearby Peel Region from January 2007 to December 2012, researchers found 3.8 percent survived until they could be discharged from a hospital.
    
Survival was 4.2 percent for people living below the third floor and 2.6 percent for people living on or above the third floor.
    
But Drennan said when they went back and looked at the exact floor the patients lived on, they found decreased survival rates as the floors got higher.
    
"Patients who survived tended to be younger, their cardiac arrest was more often witnessed by bystanders, and bystanders were more likely to perform CPR," Drennan said.
    
The study was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

 

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