Dispatch-assisted cardiopulmonary resuscitation: The anchor link in the chain of survival

Bentley J. Bobrow, Micah Panczyk, Cleo Subido

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: Early bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) provides a vital bridge after collapse from cardiac arrest until defibrillation can be performed. However, due to multiple barriers and despite large-scale public CPR training, this life-saving therapy is still not rendered in a majority of cardiac arrest events. As a result, cardiac arrest survival remains very low in most communities. Recent findings: Several large-scale studies have shown the benefits of dispatch-assisted CPR. These studies have confirmed that on-going dispatch-assisted CPR programs that use a simplified and abbreviated set of standardized questions can hasten the recognition of cardiac arrest. Dispatchers can also utilize strategies to help bystanders overcome the obstacles to beginning CPR. In some communities, dispatch-assisted CPR accounts for up to half of all bystander CPR. Dispatch-assisted CPR programs combined with large-scale public CPR training may be what is needed to elevate CPR rates and survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest nationally. Summary: This review focuses on the rationale and evolving science behind dispatch CPR instructions, as well as some best practices for implementing and measuring dispatch-assisted CPR with the goal of maximizing its potential to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-233
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in critical care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiac arrest
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • dispatch
  • emergency medical service

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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