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Dispatcher Assistance Increases Use of Bystander CPR in Kids — and Thus Improves Neurological Outcomes — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
May 1, 2014

Dispatcher Assistance Increases Use of Bystander CPR in Kids — and Thus Improves Neurological Outcomes

By Kristi L. Koenig

When prehospital dispatchers in Japan offered CPR instructions to bystanders, CPR use increased and children showed improved 1-month neurological outcomes, according to a nationwide observational study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Using a Japanese registry, investigators analyzed data on some 5000 children (age <18 years) with out-of-hospital-cardiac arrest from 2008 to 2010. Children were divided into three groups: no bystander CPR, bystander CPR with dispatcher assistance, and bystander CPR without dispatcher assistance.

Dispatcher CPR instruction (offered in 54% of cases) significantly increased the rate of bystander CPR (adjusted odds ratio, 7.5). Bystander CPR, both with and without dispatcher assistance, was associated with better 1-month neurological outcomes (adjusted ORs, 1.8 and 1.7). While conventional CPR was associated with better neurological outcomes at 1-month, chest-compression–only CPR was not.

Kristi L. Koenig, MD, FACEP, FIFEM, is an associate editor with NEJM Journal Watch Emergency Medicine, from which this story was adapted.

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