Medical researchers explained in a new study how living on upper floors of tall buildings can significantly decrease people's chances of surviving cardiac arrests.
Based on their findings, this effect is all about the time it takes for medical responders to reach the patients, Science Daily reported.
In the study, the researchers studied the data collected on about 7,800 who had cardiac arrests while living in private building residences such as condominiums and apartments. This also includes the time it took for 911 responders to reach them after the emergency call was made.
According to their observations, out of the 5,998 people who live below the third floor, about 4.2 percent survived their cardiac arrests. On the other hand, the survival rates of those on upper floors was were only one to 2.6 percent. As for those residing above the 25th floor, none of them survived after suffering from heart failure.
The researchers then explained that like other medical emergencies, reaching the patients immediately and performing the necessary treatment techniques are crucial factors for their survival.
In cardiac arrests, the circulation of the blood throughout the body stops due to the heart's failure to contract. When this happens, it is very important for the first responders on the scene to set the heart's natural rhythm.
According to medical experts, chest compressions or CPR must be performed immediately to victims of cardiac arrest.
"If you find them in a shockable heart rhythm then most of the time you can reset the heart and get a pulse back," Ian Drennan, the lead author of the study and paramedic for the York Region Paramedic Services said in a statement according to Reuters.
"If you wait too long, the chance of finding that rhythm deteriorates," he added.
The researchers noted that the locations of patients can hinder responders from properly reaching patients on time. In the data they studied, they noticed that it took 911 paramedics three minutes before they were able to establish first contact with the patients on the first or second floors after arriving at the building.
However, for patients living above the third floor, it took the responders around five minutes before they were able to reach them.
Based on their findings, the researchers suggested that residential buildings should implement a response plan specifically for medical emergencies. They believe this will minimize the time it takes for medical responders to attend to the patients.
The findings of the researchers were detailed in a study published on January 18 in the medical journal CMAJ.