The importance of volunteers included in CPR system was presented as crucial by two Swedish studies that proved the rates of survival of people suffering a cardiac arrest increase when CPR is applied in up to three minutes after the event.
According to Health Departments reports, there are 420,000 registered cases of cardiac arrest happening in non-medical environments on an yearly basis. For all these people, the findings of the Swedish studies would bring about increased survival rates provided they are implemented systematically.
The two studies focused on voluntary CPR. In the case of people who suffer a cardiac arrest, a well informed and trained non-medical volunteer applying CPR techniques in as much as three minutes from the arrest increases the survival rate by almost 50 percent.
Emergency teams are rather late in arriving or being notified of such events. For this purpose, the second study looked at a tech tool that can efficiently connect the volunteers to those needing CPR in a radius of 500 meters.
The system worked like a charm in proving that where there’s a will, there’s a way and that CPR volunteer corps are crucial to saving lives. The phone-based system improved connection to a larger extent and placed medical services in a shadow cone in terms of response.
Results showed that out of 30,381people who suffered a cardiac arrest, 15,512 were almost immediately provided assistance by CPR volunteers. In this group, the 30 day survival rate increased to 10.5 percent in contrast with just 4 percent in the group that did not receive immediate CPR.
The time that passes from the cardiac arrest until CPR techniques are applied was also found to be important. The highest survival rates were registered for under three minutes in response time.
For elderly patient, 19 percent of the age group represented by 70-year olds showed increased survival chances. Other age groups of above 70 showed a survival rate of 11 percent.
The voluntary corps that was instrumental to both studies was comprised of 9,829 volunteers. They responded immediately to 62 percent of the calls via the implemented phone-based system. While the system was not activated, only 48 percent of patients suffering a cardiac arrest received almost immediate attention.
Due to the proven success, the system is now part and parcel of Sweden’s voluntary CPR system. It currently includes 14,000 volunteers and a new feature that also locates the defibrillator closest to the person suffering a cardiac arrest.
In order to implement a similar system in the U.S., adjustments would have to take place starting with the emergency dispatch centers which currently cannot identify phone numbers or call locations.
Also, the emergency dispatch centers do not feature any texting system.
The results of the two Swedish studies are found in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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