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A smartphone application for dispatch of lay responders to out-of-hospital cardiac arrests

      Abstract

      Background

      Dispatch of lay volunteers trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and equipped with automated external defibrillators (AEDs) may improve survival in cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). The aim of this study was to investigate the functionality and performance of a smartphone application for locating and alerting nearby trained laymen/women in cases of OHCA.

      Methods

      A system using a smartphone application activated by Emergency Dispatch Centres was used to locate and alert laymen/women to nearby suspected OHCAs. Lay responders were instructed either to perform CPR or collect a nearby AED. An online survey was carried out among the responders.

      Results

      From February to August 2016, the system was activated in 685 cases of suspected OHCA. Among these, 224 cases were Emergency Medical Services (EMSs)-treated OHCAs (33%). EMS-witnessed cases (n = 11) and cases with missing survey data (n = 15) were excluded. In the remaining 198 OHCAs, lay responders arrived at the scene in 116 cases (58%), and prior to EMSs in 51 cases (26%). An AED was attached in 17 cases (9%) and 4 (2%) were defibrillated. Lay responders performed CPR in 54 cases (27%). Median distance to the OHCA was 560 m (IQR 332–860 m), and 1280 m (IQR 748–1776 m) via AED pick-up. The survey-answering rate was 82%.

      Conclusion

      A smartphone application can be used to alert CPR-trained lay volunteers to OHCAs for CPR. Further improvements are needed to shorten the time to defibrillation before EMS arrival.

      Keywords

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