Dispatcher-Assisted CPR Benefits Outweigh Risks

Heartwire/December 21, 2009/Reed Miller
Seattle, WA – A prospective study of injuries caused by dispatcher-assisted bystander CPR finds that the benefits of resuscitating someone in cardiac arrest outweigh the risks of injuring someone who doesn’t actually need it.
Lindsay White (Public Health Seattle – King County, WA) and colleagues analyzed records and the study results, which is part of the ongoing randomized Dispatcher-Assisted Resuscitation Trial (DART), are published online December 21, 2009 and in the January 5-10, 2010 issue of Cirulation.
Dr. Comilla Sasson (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) told heartwire that this study “shows that the benefits really far outweigh the risks, and it’s really nice to put some numbers on that. I think clinically we’ve always known this, but we’ve always had such a hard time getting dispatchers to agree to do CPR instructions at all.”
The study shows that bystanders are more willing to do CPR with chest-compressions only, without the ventilation component. The American Heart Association recently launched the Hands-OnlyCPR public-information campaign to teach people that simply calling 911 and beginning chest compressions on a person who has collapsed can save their life.
Sasson and colleagues recently published a meta-analysis in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes that found that, depending on the patients’ baseline risk, one life is saved for every 24-36 cardiac-arrest patients receiving bystander CPR.

3 Responses to “Dispatcher-Assisted CPR Benefits Outweigh Risks”

  1. Ruben Major Says:

    As the coordinator for the implementation of an Emergency Medical Dispatch program, I have seen dispatcher-assisted CPR and other skills save lives. What I found to be the most effective use of dispatchers in terms of EMD skills was the utilization of instructions in the event of a choking victim. EMDs are able to save lives in this case where responders may not be able to reach them in time…

    I agree with the AHA’s new campaign of hands-on-CPR. They have changed the name from what I understand, however, from “Compression Only CPR” or “Continuous Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.” I find that to be interesting…

    We offer CPR training online at http://www.cprclass.org to help spread the word… 🙂

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