Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dispatcher-assisted bystander CPR best choice for possible cardiac arrest signs

Date:
December 29, 2009
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Dispatchers should give CPR instructions to bystanders of all suspected cardiac arrest victims, researchers said. The benefit of CPR to those having a cardiac arrest far outweighs the risk of injury to those who aren't. During 9-1-1 calls, dispatchers help bystanders correctly identify patients in cardiac arrest about half the time. Of 1,700 patients studied, three who incorrectly received CPR had minor injuries linked to chest compressions.

Dispatchers should assertively give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) instructions to bystanders who suspect someone is in cardiac arrest because the benefits from correctly recommending CPR for someone who needs it greatly outweigh the risks from recommending CPR for someone who does not, researchers said in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. "Early CPR improves outcomes from cardiac arrest; yet, only a modest portion of victims receive early CPR from bystanders," said author Thomas D. Rea, M.D., M.P.H., Program Medical Director, King County Medic One, EMS Division, Kent, Wash., and Associate Professor of Medicine, Harborview Medical Center at the University of Washington.

"We know that dispatcher instructions can increase survival by enabling early bystander CPR. While the goal is to support dispatcher-assisted CPR programs, concerns remain about the potential for CPR to injure people who may not be experiencing cardiac arrest. We did this study to determine the frequency of dispatcher-assisted CPR for patients not in arrest and the frequency and severity of injury related to chest compressions."

Rea and colleagues studied data from 1,700 adult patients whose bystanders received CPR instructions from dispatchers in King County, Wash., between June 2004 and January 2007. Of all patients, 55 percent (938) were in cardiac arrest and 45 percent (762) weren't.

Of the patients who were not in cardiac arrest, 46 percent (313/686) progressed to chest compressions with instructions from a dispatcher. CPR for the others was discontinued, possibly because the patient regained consciousness or started breathing normally before chest compressions began, Rea said.

Researchers analyzed hospital charts of 247 non-arrest patients who received dispatcher-assisted chest compressions and were transported to the hospital. Of these patients:

  • 11 percent (26) suffered discomfort or injuries probably resulting from CPR;
  • 9 percent (22) reported discomfort, including soreness and tenderness of the chest;
  • 2 percent (four) suffered fractures (three due to chest compressions and one from repositioning the patient from the bed to the floor in preparation for CPR).

Fracture was the most serious injury reported.

The study affirms the positive balance in favor of the lifesaving value of dispatcher-assisted bystander CPR, said Rea.

"We know that early CPR from a bystander improves survival, and from our study, poses only a minimal risk of injury when guided by dispatchers," he said. "So it seems reasonable to continue challenging communities nationwide to increase bystander CPR through assertive dispatch programs."

Rea doesn't recommend changing the method dispatchers use to determine whether to proceed with CPR instructions for possible cardiac arrest as long as the approach is straightforward and quick.

Using the current method employed by King County, if the patient is unconscious and not breathing normally, the dispatcher instructs the bystander to perform CPR.

"Among other things, adding questions would take extra time. And when it comes to administering CPR for cardiac arrest, time is of the essence," Rea said.

A limitation of the study is that the data is only from King County, which has a mature emergency medical services (EMS) system. Whether other communities would replicate the findings is not certain.

Another limitation is that researchers used hospital records and patient interviews to assess injury.

Unreported or unapparent injuries might not be reflected in this study.

Future research should aim at improving individual community's dispatcher-assisted CPR programs, to increase the proportion of those who receive early bystander CPR, Rea said. "Dispatchers are a critical link that can make a positive difference in survival," Rea said. "EMS systems, hospital stakeholders and dispatchers should actively partner to ensure that dispatchers' performance is part of the overall process for measuring care and outcomes for cardiac arrest patients."

Medic One Foundation and the Laerdal Foundation funded the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Dispatcher-assisted bystander CPR best choice for possible cardiac arrest signs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091222105305.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2009, December 29). Dispatcher-assisted bystander CPR best choice for possible cardiac arrest signs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091222105305.htm
American Heart Association. "Dispatcher-assisted bystander CPR best choice for possible cardiac arrest signs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091222105305.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins