Emergency communication by mobile phone augments the survival of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims

Investigation on approximately 3000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) cases in Ishikawa Prefecture from 2012 through 2014 indicated that the survival rate was better with emergency communication by mobile phone than by fixed telephone. This was due to the increased proportions of fire department dispatchers to detect cardiac arrest correctly and to provide instructions for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on callers. The mobile phone use for emergency call in cases with suspected cardiac arrest should be recommended.

To save the lives of victims with OHCA, the early emergency call and cardiopulmonary resuscitation performed by laypersons who found the victims (bystanders) are essential. However, these bystanders rarely start voluntary CPR because their abilities to detect cardiac arrest are low. Thus, dispatchers in fire departments ask callers a few questions about patient’s condition (consciousness and respiration) to detect cardiac arrest in collaboration with callers and give instruction for CPR, when necessary.

 Communication by mobile phone was considered to be disadvantageous in comparison to that by fixed telephone because of difficulties in identifying the exact place to dispatch an ambulance, which may cause a delay of ambulance team to arrive at the scene of medical emergency. However, mobile phone communication may have the following advantages over fixed telephone; 1) mobile phone enables the callers to move closer to patients; 2) Dispatchers may get more detailed and exact information on the patient condition; 3) Bystanders may provide better quality CPR through instructions by dispatchers.

The outcome of patients with OHCA and parameters affecting the survival were compared between mobile phone versus fixed telephone emergency calls in this study. The research team investigated 2980 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest cases from the prospectively collected database in Ishikawa Prefecture from 2012 through 2014. The outcome, the incidences of CPR instruction and good-quality bystander-performed CPR, backgrounds of callers and time factors related to emergency communication and transportation to hospital were analyzed.

The results indicated that one-month survival rate of OHCAs with communication by mobile phone was significantly higher (9.1%) than that by fixed telephone (4.3%). Furthermore, there was a large difference in the proportion of callers to move to the proximity of patients: 17.2% in fixed telephone and 52.7% in mobile phone. On the other hand, the time interval between emergency call receipt and ambulance team arrival at the scene did not statistically differ between the two phone types.

 Social enlightening activities until today consist of dissemination of AED and education of CPR procedures. Our investigation demonstrates that promotion of cell phone use in cases of suspected cardiac arrest will significantly contribute to a better survival. The research team hopes wide recognition of these results by not only specialists but by ordinary civilians.

The research results were published online in a European journal, Resuscitation, on Aug. 22, 2016.


Title: Augmented survival of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims with the use of mobile phones for emergency communication under the DA-CPR protocol getting information from callers beside the victim
Journal: Resuscitation (2016) 107, 80-7
Authors: Tetsuo MAEDA1, Akira YAMASHITA1,2, Yasuhiro MYOJO3, Yukihiro WATO4, Hideo INABA1
1Kanazawa University, 2Noto General Hospital, 3Ishikawa Prefectural Hospital, 4Kanazawa Medical University
Doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2016.08.010




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