Because mobile telephones may support video calls, emergency medical dispatchers may now connect visually with bystanders during pre-hospital cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). We studied the quality of simulated dispatcher-assisted CPR when guidance was delivered to rescuers by video calls or audio calls from mobile phones.Methods
One hundred and eighty high school students were randomly assigned in groups of three to communicate via video calls or audio calls with experienced nurse dispatchers at a Hospital Emergency Medical Dispatch Center. CPR was performed on a recording resuscitation manikin during simulated cardiac arrest. Quality of CPR and time factors were compared depending on the type of communication used.Results
The median CPR time without chest compression (‘hands-off time’) was shorter in the video-call group vs. the audio-call group (303 vs. 331 s; P=0.048), but the median time to first compression was not shorter (104 vs. 102 s; P=0.29). The median time to first ventilation was insignificantly shorter in the video-call group (176 vs. 205 s; P=0.16). This group also had a slightly higher proportion of ventiliations without error (0.11 vs. 0.06; P=0.30).Conclusion
Video communication is unlikely to improve telephone CPR (t-CPR) significantly without proper training of dispatchers and when using dispatch protocols written for audio-only calls. Improved dispatch procedures and training for handling video calls require further investigation.