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COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Dual dispatch early defibrillation in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in a mixed urban-rural population

Hugo Saner, Cyrill Morger, Prisca Eser, Martin von Planta
Resuscitation 2013, 84 (9): 1197-202
23518012

AIMS: The effects of a system based on minimally trained first responders (FR) dispatched simultaneously with the emergency medical services (EMS) of the local hospital in a mixed urban and rural area in Northwestern Switzerland were examined.

METHODS AND RESULTS: In this prospective study 500 voluntary fire fighters received a 4-h training in basic-life-support using automated-external-defibrillation (AED). FR and EMS were simultaneously dispatched in a two-tier rescue system. During the years 2001-2008, response times, resuscitation interventions and outcomes were monitored. 1334 emergencies were included. The FR reached the patients (mean age 60.4 ± 19 years; 65% male) within 6 ± 3 min after emergency calls compared to 12 ± 5 min by the EMS (p<0.0001). Seventy-six percent of the 297 OHCAs occurred at home. Only 3 emergencies with resuscitation attempts occurred at the main railway station equipped with an on-site AED. FR were on the scene before arrival of the EMS in 1166 (87.4%) cases. Of these, the FR used AED in 611 patients for monitoring or defibrillation. CPR was initiated by the FR in 164 (68.9% of 238 resuscitated patients). 124 patients were defibrillated, of whom 93 (75.0%) were defibrillated first by the FR. Eighteen patients (of whom 13 were defibrillated by the FR) were discharged from hospital in good neurological condition.

CONCLUSIONS: Minimally trained fire fighters integrated in an EMS as FR contributed substantially to an increase of the survival rate of OHCAs in a mixed urban and rural area.

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