ASHI and MEDIC First Aid Blog

October 23, 2018

Research Continues to Show Bystander CPR Makes a Lifesaving Difference

A recent study by Dutch researchers provides new evidence to support the most important takeaway from our emergency care classes: Early bystander intervention with CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED) increases the chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

According to an article from the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation:

Researchers in the Netherlands assessed changes in survival following out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCAs) in the Nijmegen area, since several initiatives over the years have resulted in more lay volunteers providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and increased use of AEDs.

In patients admitted after OHCA, survival to discharge has markedly improved to 40–50%. This improvement is similar with other Dutch registries. Findings also highlighted the role of increased bystander CPR and the doubled use of AEDs and therefore, suggest encouraging all civilian-based resuscitation initiatives.

The study, from the department of cardiology at Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, The Netherlands and published in the Netherlands Heart Journal, found that:

  • In the study cohort, the AED was attached to the patient in 46% of incidents, compared to 23% in the historical cohort used for comparison
  • Bystander CPR was initiated in 78% of cases, up from 63%
  • A higher proportion of patients received an AED shock (39% vs. 15%)
  • The number of required shocks by the EMS was lower (2 vs. 4)
  • Survival to discharge was 47%, compared to 33% in the historical cohort

As we explain in our ASHI and MEDIC First Aid programs, one of the most difficult deci­sions bystanders can make is whether or not to get involved when they think a medical emergency has occurred. It is normal to feel hesitant about our ability to help, so be sure to remind your students that:

  • They are only the first link in a progressive chain of emergency care. Their involvement lasts only until relieved by another first aid provider or responding EMS personnel — in most cases, a very short period of time.
  • Training provides us with sound knowledge and skills designed only to help — and not harm — those in need.
  • Extensive medical knowledge is not necessary. First aid is simple and easy to provide.

If it is safe to do so, take action. When we apply what we’ve learned in our training classes, our actions can help to protect or save a life.

More classes, more trained bystanders! Whether you’re scheduling more classes or just need to stock up on materials, don’t forget our final SCA Awareness Month free shipping promotion, running from now through the end of October. Visit our Facebook page, check your inbox for our announcement email, or log into your Otis portal for complete details.

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