Data from Denmark showed that a nationwide campaign to promote CPR had increased the survival rate among victims that had suffered cardiac arrest in places such as homes, offices, grocery stores, movies theaters, and other public places that were not in a hospital.
Although Denmark has a population of 5.6 million, its research results show dramatic results for the importance of using CPR in cardiac arrest emergencies. The findings can help North American countries, specifically the United States, start promoting these initiatives since 300,000 individuals go into cardiac arrest every year.
The Resuscitation Council of Denmark reported ten years ago that less than 20% of victims received CPR when it was needed. Less than 6% were still alive 30 days later after going into cardiac arrest. To help improve these numbers, Denmark did a nationwide campaign to promote CPR.
One of the actions implemented in Denmark was the mandatory training of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation in elementary schools as well as a requirement for people applying for a driver’s license. Approximately 150,000 first aid kits were handed out to residents and Automated External Defibrillators, AEDs, were installed in public spaces. Furthermore, the staff that operating the emergency dispatch lines were trained to better assist cardiac arrest phone calls.
To compare results to a benchmark, the results of these initiatives in 2010 were compared to the statistical data of 2001. The CPR initiative shows that bystander CPR increased from 21.1% to 44.9%, which is double of the improvement. The usage of AEDs increased from 1.1% to 2.2% showing a slight improvement.
Cardiac arrest survival rates increased significantly. In 2001, the patients that arrived alive to the hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest were 7.9%. In 2010, that number increased significantly to 21.8%. In 2001, the percentage of patients alive after 30 days of suffering a cardiac arrest was only 3.5% while in 2010, this figure rose to 10.8%. The major component to the increased number of survival rates was bystander CPR.
Although the findings cannot identify specifically which particular CPR strategy worked the best, it did show that the improvement of was survival was multifactorial. Bystander CPR proved to be an important component in the overall survival rate for cardiac arrest patients.
If you are interested in CPR training, contact Valley Occupational Medical Center, for more information!