Background: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) performed by bystanders is associated with increased survival rates among persons with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. We investigated whether rates of bystander-initiated CPR could be increased with the use of a mobile-phone positioning system that could instantly locate mobile-phone users and dispatch lay volunteers who were trained in CPR to a patient nearby with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
Methods: We conducted a blinded, randomized, controlled trial in Stockholm from April 2012 through December 2013. A mobile-phone positioning system that was activated when ambulance, fire, and police services were dispatched was used to locate trained volunteers who were within 500 m of patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest; volunteers were then dispatched to the patients (the intervention group) or not dispatched to them (the control group). The primary outcome was bystander-initiated CPR before the arrival of ambulance, fire, and police services.
Results: A total of 5989 lay volunteers who were trained in CPR were recruited initially, and overall 9828 were recruited during the study. The mobile-phone positioning system was activated in 667 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests: 46% (306 patients) in the intervention group and 54% (361 patients) in the control group. The rate of bystander-initiated CPR was 62% (188 of 305 patients) in the intervention group and 48% (172 of 360 patients) in the control group (absolute difference for intervention vs. control, 14 percentage points; 95% confidence interval, 6 to 21; P<0.001).
Conclusions: A mobile-phone positioning system to dispatch lay volunteers who were trained in CPR was associated with significantly increased rates of bystander-initiated CPR among persons with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. (Funded by the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation and Stockholm County; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01789554.).