Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OCHA) is a major public health problem in the United States. Bystander CPR has been shown to double or even triple survival from OCHA. A new study examined whether providing CPR instruction over the phone (“telephone CPR”) with the help of trained 9-1-1 dispatchers could improve survival rates after cardiac arrest.

Researchers from the Arizona Department of Health Services provided additional training to dispatchers in two regional centers in Phoenix on how to be more assertive and confident while on the phone with rescuers. They measured outcomes from more than 2,300 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests during a three year period. The researchers found increases both in the number of patients that survived to hospital discharge as well as those with good functional outcomes, which means patients were able to return to their normal baseline.

Click here to review the study published in JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association.