The American Heart Association recognizes T-CPR as a critical component of the chain of survival and supports public policy initiatives that promote increased quality and appropriate use of 911 systems, including formal training to appropriately assess the needs of patient and provide life-saving telephone CPR instructions.
911 is a number we all know, a number we teach our children at a very young age. It’s the gateway to our emergency response system, a system we rely on when our loved ones are in danger. Calls to 911 vary in purpose, from car accidents to house fires to possible heart attack or cardiac arrest.
The person who answers the phone when you call 9-1-1 is called a telecommunicator or dispatcher. Their job is to confirm location, assess the situation and dispatch the appropriate response. Some dispatchers are trained in emergency medical dispatch, allowing them to better assess the situation and provide medical instructions, like CPR, to the caller over the phone while they wait for EMS to arrive.
What is Telephone CPR (T-CPR)?
Telecommunicators are the true, first responders and a critical link in the cardiac arrest chain of survival. It is the telecommunicator, in partnership with the caller, who can identify a patient in cardiac arrest, providing the initial level of care by delivering T- CPR instructions to the caller, and quickly dispatching the appropriate level of help. It is through these actions that the telecommunicator can make the difference between life and death.
How long are typical emergency response times?
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) response times vary greatly depending on many factors, including geography, weather, and accurate location information. For acute conditions like cardiac arrest, treatment is a race against the clock. Immediate bystander CPR can double, even triple a victim’s chance of survival. Although exactly how these longer transport times have affected health outcomes in unclear, but a look at recent data collected by the East Baton Rouge Parish Emergency Medical Services in 2016 revealed it took ambulances carrying Baton Rouge patients two minutes longer on average to arrive at an emergency room than it did in 2012.