Background Recent analysis shows a higher risk of death after Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) for patients who lived in rural areas of UK in casemix adjusted comparison with urban areas. Sandpiper Wildcat is an action research project aiming to increase survival rates through the implementation of a novel network of trained responders in rural Grampian.
Methods After using historic data to identify 50 locations with poor response times but significant numbers of OHCA we established teams of trained volunteer responders equipped with automatic external defibrillators (AED 3, Zoll) and Vehicle Locator Systems. Responders were trained and made available for dispatch to OHCA by ambulance control. In addition to real time CPR quality feedback the AED 3 also records ECG, compression metrics and audio of the incident for analysis and debrief.
Results Around 500 responders were successfully trained and deployed in 53 rural locations during the first 6 months. They were mobilised to 109 OHCA, arriving on scene an average of 7 min (−15 to 48 mins) before Scottish ambulance service resources. Analysis of metrics from defibrillator downloads showed high quality resuscitation. In addition there were many reports of significant ‘added value’ to patients, families and Scottish Ambulance Service staff as a result of Sandpiper Wildcat responders’ attendance. Responders replied overwhelmingly positively to debrief questions ‘did you feel of value at scene’ and ‘do you feel you made a difference’, all indicated that they would be willing to respond again.
Conclusions Sandpiper Wildcat project has reduced the response time to OHCA in rural Grampian and increased the number of responders at each OHCA. Responders have delivered high quality BLS and provided assistance to SAS personnel. Further analysis will examine the spread and sustainability of this approach in rural UK and the longer term impact on clinical outcomes.
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