Background. Survival outcomes from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in Asia are poor (2-11%). Bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) rates are relatively low in Asia. Dispatcher-assisted CPR (DA-CPR) has recently emerged as a potentially cost-effective intervention to increase bystander CPR and survival from OHCA. The Pan-Asian Resuscitation Outcomes Study (PAROS), an Asia-Pacific cardiac arrest registry, was set up in 2009, with the aim of understanding OHCA as a disease in Asia and improving OHCA survival. The network has adopted DA-CPR as part of its strategy to improve OHCA survival. Objective. This article aims to describe the conceptualization, study design, potential benefits, and difficulties for implementation of DA-CPR trial in the Asia-Pacific.
Methods. Two levels of intervention, basic and comprehensive, will be offered to PAROS participating sites. The basic level consists of implementation of a DA-CPR protocol and training program, while the comprehensive level consists of implementation of the basic level, with the addition of a dispatch quality measurement tool, quality improvement program, and community education program. Sites that are not able to implement the package will contribute control data. The primary outcome of the study is survival to hospital discharge or survival to 30 days post cardiac arrest. DA-CPR and bystander CPR are secondary outcomes. Conclusion. Implementation of DA-CPR requires concerted efforts by EMS leaders and supervisors, dispatchers, hospital stakeholders, policy makers, and the general public. The DA-CPR trial implemented by the PAROS sites, if successful, can serve as a model for other countries considering such an intervention in their EMS systems.
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