Letter from the Chairman of the Taskforce
April 19th, 2017
Every year more than 350,000 people fall victim to sudden, unexplained out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Unfortunately, only about 1 in 10 victims survive this dramatic event. Early access to 911 and early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) are the first 2 links in the chain of survival from OHCA. While 911 is frequently accessed, in the majority of cases, OHCA victims do not receive bystander CPR and wait for the arrival of professional emergency rescuers.
The American Heart Association (AHA) has committed to doubling OHCA survival by 2020. The most immediate method to improve survival from OHCA is to improve bystander CPR rates. Rates of bystander CPR in most municipalities are low, especially among minority communities. In contrast, bystander CPR rates are highest in communities where public safety answering points (PSAPs), or dispatch centers, provide telephone CPR (T-CPR) instructions. In these communities, as much as 50% of bystander CPR is directly attributable to those just-in-time T-CPR directions.
Recognition of these circumstances prompted the AHA to convene a taskforce of resuscitation experts to address the challenges of providing T-CPR. This taskforce was charged with creating a set of recommendations for performing T-CPR and a toolkit for agencies seeking to meet these important metrics. The goal of the AHA and this taskforce is every 911 call is answered by a PSAP ready to provide lifesaving T-CPR.
On this site, you will find program and performance recommendations for T-CPR. These recommendations were created by the T-CPR taskforce and vetted during a 90-day public comment period during Autumn 2016. In addition, you will find a comprehensive guide to implementing T-CPR in your community. With your assistance, these recommendations will help achieve our goal of doubling survival rates from OHCA.
On behalf of the T-CPR taskforce,
Michael Christopher Kurz, MD, MS-HES, FACEP, FAHA
American Heart Association
Vice Chair – Emergency Cardiovascular Care Systems of Care Subcommittee
Volunteer Chair, T-CPR Taskforce