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Impact of telephone dispatcher assistance on the outcomes of pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest*

Akahane, Manabu MD, PhD; Ogawa, Toshio PhD; Tanabe, Seizan MD; Koike, Soichi MD, PhD; Horiguchi, Hiromasa PhD; Yasunaga, Hideo MD, PhD; Imamura, Tomoaki MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/CCM.0b013e31823e99ae
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Objective: Most previous studies of pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest have typically examined relatively small datasets from small study regions. Although several studies have reported the impact on adult out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, little information is available on the impact of telephone dispatcher assistance on the outcomes of pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. We set out to examine the impact of cardiopulmonary resuscitation instruction by telephone dispatcher on the outcomes of pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Design: Population-based, observational study.

Setting: Japan-wide population-based setting.

Patients: We identified 1,780 pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients (67.8% male) with witnessed collapse from a nationwide, population-based, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest database.

Intervention: None.

Measurement and Main Results: We assessed the impact of telephone dispatcher assistance on the outcomes of 1-month survival rates and favorable neurologic status among the groups. The overall rate of bystander-performed chest compression and mouth-to-mouth ventilation among the witnessed pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrests were 39.5% and 25.6%, respectively. Telephone dispatcher assistance was offered in 28.4% of the witnessed pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest cases and resulted in a significant increase in both chest compression (adjusted odds ratio 6.04; 95% confidence interval 4.72–7.72) and mouth-to-mouth ventilation (adjusted odds ratio 3.10; 95% confidence interval 2.44–3.95), and a significant improvement in 1-month survival rate (adjusted odds ratio 1.46; 95% confidence interval 1.05–2.03), but no significant effect on favorable neurologic outcomes at 1 month (adjusted odds ratio 1.15; 95% confidence interval 0.70–1.88). Potential confounding factors included age categories, sex, bystander type, cause of cardiac arrest, bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and attempted defibrillation.

Conclusions: Telephone dispatcher assistance could significantly increase bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation among witnessed pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. Although there was only a small, nonsignificant effect on the improvement in favorable neurologic outcome at 1 month, the improved survival associated with telephone dispatcher assistance in pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is clinically important, and is of major public health importance. In cases where cardiac arrest was uncertain from the bystander’s replies during the call to emergency medical services, telephone dispatcher assistance was not offered, which could affect the adjusted odds ratio of the present study.

From the Department of Public Health, Health Management and Policy (MA, TO, TI), Nara Medical University School of Medicine, Nara, Japan; Foundation for Ambulance Service Development (ST), Emergency Life-Saving Technique Academy of Tokyo, Japan; and the Department of Planning, Information and Management (SK), the University of Tokyo Hospital, Tokyo, Japan; and Department of Health Management and Policy (HH, HY), Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

*See also p. 1646.

The authors have not disclosed any potential conflicts of interest.

For information regarding this article, E-mail: makahane@naramed-u.ac.jp.

© 2012 by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins