First-response treatment after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: a survey of current practices across 29 countries in Europe

Published on 2019-12-17T08:25:58Z (GMT) by
Abstract Background In Europe, survival rates after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) vary widely. Presence/absence and differences in implementation of systems dispatching First Responders (FR) in order to arrive before Emergency Medical Services (EMS) may contribute to this variation. A comprehensive overview of the different types of FR-systems used across Europe is lacking. Methods A mixed-method survey and information retrieved from national resuscitation councils and national EMS services were used as a basis for an inventory. The survey was sent to 51 OHCA experts across 29 European countries. Results Forty-seven (92%) OHCA experts from 29 countries responded to the survey. More than half of European countries had at least one region with a FR-system. Four categories of FR types were identified: (1) firefighters (professional/voluntary); (2) police officers; (3) citizen-responders; (4) others including off-duty EMS personnel (nurses, medical doctors), taxi drivers. Three main roles for FRs were identified: (a) complementary to EMS; (b) part of EMS; (c) instead of EMS. A wide variation in FR-systems was observed, both between and within countries. Conclusions Policies relating to FRs are commonly implemented on a regional level, leading to a wide variation in FR-systems between and within countries. Future research should focus on identifying the FR-systems that most strongly influence survival. The large variation in local circumstances across regions suggests that it is unlikely that there will be a ‘one-size fits all’ FR-system for Europe, but examining the role of FRs in the Chain of Survival is likely to become an increasingly important aspect of OHCA research.

Cite this collection

Oving, Iris; Masterson, Siobhan; Tjelmeland, Ingvild; Jonsson, Martin; Semeraro, Federico; Ringh, Mattias; et al. (2019): First-response treatment after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: a survey of current practices across 29 countries in Europe. figshare. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4784457.v1