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.

Related Articles


"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 March 4, 2015 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 March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) With no bathrooms to use, climbers of Mount Everest have been leaving human waste on the mountain for years, and it&apos;s becoming a health issue. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to 'Skinny' Your Home

The Best Tips to 'Skinny' Your Home

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) If you&apos;re looking to reach your health goals this season, there are a few simple tips to help you spring clean your space and improve your nutrition. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the skinny on keeping a healthy home. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Analysis: Supreme Court Hears ACA Challenge

Analysis: Supreme Court Hears ACA Challenge

AP (Mar. 4, 2015) Associated Press legal reporter Mark Sherman breaks down the details of the latest Affordable Care Act challenge to make it to the Supreme Court. (March 4) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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