Two new studies coming from Sweden emphasize the crucial relevance of voluntary CPR corps in life-saving critical situations.
In the U.S. there are a reported 420,000 cases of cardiac arrest that are happening yearly outside of hospitals and medical supervision. In Europe, another 275,000 cases add up to the worrying list. For all these people suffering cardiac arrest, a CPR volunteer coming from a well-implemented service is a crucial life-saving factor.
The two studies focus precisely on this aspect. The first one concludes that for people suffering a cardiac arrest the chances of survival increase significantly if CPR techniques are performed almost instantly before the medical emergency team arrives.
The second study looked at how a phone-based system improved connection between people in need of CPR and the well-trained volunteers that found themselves in the proximity.
The first study coming from the Swedish researchers looked at a total of 30,381 people who suffered cardiac arrests. In the case who those who didn’t receive immediate CPR aid from any bystander, the survival rate of 4 percent of 14,869 cases was of 30 days.
The same period extended to 10.5 percent of the 15,512 people who did receive immediate CPR following a cardiac arrest. The chance of survival of 30 days increased proportionally to the time the CPR techniques were applied. If the technique was performed within a maximum of three minutes from the cardiac arrest, the chances remained high.
For patients in the age group of 70, 19 percent showed the increased survival rates if CPR was applied within three minutes. For age groups above 70, 11 percent showed the same increase.
The second study looked at ways to increase the involvement and awareness of voluntary bystander CPR, as well as the survival rates of people suffering cardiac arrest. A system was set in place that announced the volunteers when someone in a range of 500 meters had collapsed.
The system involved 9,828 volunteers. As an overall result, 62 percent of patients received immediate CPR when the system was activated in contrast with 48 percent when the system was not activated.
Currently, the system which proved its utility has 14,000 volunteers and was tweaked with performance enhancing factors, such as GPS coordinates. A tech team is working on developing a feature that will allow the volunteers to also locate the nearest defibrillator.
Two of the authors of the studies commented on the situation in the U.S. In their comments they said that the situation across the U.S. is slightly more complicated as the emergency dispatch centers do not have the ability to identify the location of calls. At the same time, text sending or receiving is inexistent. These drawbacks hinder a similar system from being implemented.
The two studies are published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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