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Survival rates following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) increase two to three times when cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is started by bystanders, as compared to starting CPR when Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrives. Municipalities that have implemented dispatcher-assisted bystander CPR programs have seen increased rates of bystander CPR. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation instructions are given for victims of all ages, but it is unknown if offering instructions results in similar rates of EMS-documented bystander CPR across the age continuum in these municipalities.
The aim of this study was to determine if there is a difference in EMS-documented bystander CPR rates based on the age group of the OHCA victim when dispatcher CPR instructions are available in the community.
This was a three-year, retrospective chart review of OHCA patients in two municipalities within a single county that provided dispatcher-assisted CPR instructions. Bystander CPR and patient age were determined based on EMS documentation. Age was stratified into three groups: child (0-12 years), adult (13-54 years), and geriatric (≥55 years). Chi square was used to compare the rate of bystander CPR in each age group.
During the study period, 1,993 patients were identified as being in OHCA at the time of EMS arrival. The overall bystander CPR rate was 10%. The highest rate of bystander CPR was in the child age group (19%). The lowest rate of bystander CPR was in the geriatric age group (9%). There was a statistically significant difference between age groups (P≤.01).
The rate of EMS-documented bystander CPR was low, even though these municipalities provided dispatcher-assisted CPR instructions. The highest rates of bystander CPR were observed in children (0-12 years). Future investigations should determine why this occurs and if there are opportunities to modify dispatcher coaching based on patient age so that bystander CPR rates improve.
WeinmeisterKL, LernerEB, GuseCE, AteyyahKA, PirralloRG. Dispatcher CPR Instructions Across the Age Continuum. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(3):342–345.
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