Richmond VA 25th September 2012 - Research conducted by the Richmond Ambulance Authority (RAA) into reducing the time it takes to get a 9-1-1 caller to initiate CPR was incorporated into the recent Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS) upgrade.
RAA is currently undertaking an international research project with the University of Oslo in Norway comparing and contrasting the MPDS system against a European equivalent, and a spinoff of that program has resulted in the realization that the time from receipt of call to the bystander placing hands on the patient to deliver quality CPR could be shortened.
"While conducting our international analysis with the team in Oslo led by Dr Lars Wik, we realized that we could make safe and minor adjustments to the 'script' the call takers use to get the bystander to deliver CPR up to a minute sooner than the previous version allowed," explains RAA's Director of Communications Danny Garrison. "The potential impact of getting the caller to begin hands-only compressions earlier may well play a major part in outcomes."
Before submitting an amendment to the National Academy of Emergency Dispatch (NAED), the RAA team conducted benchmarking with similar systems on both sides of the Atlantic.
"While we had been analyzing our cardiac protocols and systems against those used in Norway, we needed to authenticate our own times against similar MPDS using organizations. We reached out to MedStar in Fort Worth, TX, Medic EMS in Charlotte, NC, and the East of England Ambulance Service in the UK, all of whom identified and confirmed our collective call to CPR times as standard," says RAA's COO Rob Lawrence.
Armed with benchmark data, the RAA team submitted the results and scripting recommendations to the Academy and recently learned that elements were incorporated into MPDS Version 12.2.
"We acknowledge in Richmond that lifesaving begins with dispatch life support conducted by the emergency medical dispatcher and to be able to guide hands on to the patient sooner in the process may contribute to better outcomes as a minute in time could mean an extra 100 compressions delivered," says Garrison.
RAA is continuing its international research with Norway into the "Comparison of a Advanced Medical Priority Dispatch System (AMPDS) and a Criteria Based Dispatch (CBD) System relating to Cardiac Arrest Calls." After the joint teams' initial findings were displayed as a poster entry at the European Resuscitation Convention in Portugal, further work is ongoing to develop the results into a full paper for submission to an international journal.
For more on RAA, visit www.raaems.org.