Use of mobile phone positioning system for initiating bystander CPR

It is well known that the earlier cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is initiated, the better the outcome. Practical limitations are common in the setting of out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Bystander initiated CPR is the best way to start CPR at the earliest. Leveraging the widely available mobile phones with positioning systems in place has been evaluated in a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The mobile phone positioning system could instantly locate mobile phone users. Nearly ten thousand volunteers trained in CPR were recruited for this blinded, randomized controlled trial from Stockholm. Mobile phone positioning based dispatch of volunteers was used in this study to achieve 62% bystander CPR in the intervention group vs 48% in the control group.

Volunteers within 500 meters of patients with out of hospital cardiac arrest were dispatched in the intervention group while no such dispatch was initiated in the control group. This was in addition to the regular dispatch of ambulance, fire and ambulance services. The primary outcome measured in this study was bystander initiated CPR before the arrival of ambulance, fire and police services.