Administration and Leadership, Cardiac & Resuscitation

EMS Asia 2016 Seeks to Increase Bystander CPR in OHCA

The 4th annual Asian EMS conference is underway in Seoul, South Korea, with special educational seminars presented by key members of the new JEMS International Editorial Board.

In addition to serving on the JEMS board, Prof. Sang Do Shin, MD, PhD, of South Korea is chairman of the EMS Asia 2016 Organizing Committee and is also involved with the Global Resuscitation Alliance. His Thursday presentation, Future Strategy of Bystander CPR and PAD Program, focused in on specific strategies to improve out-of-hospital cardiac arrest resuscitation rates.

According to Shin, despite recent scientific research proving that hands-only CPR, dispatcher-assisted CPR and public access defibrillator (PAD) programs increase OHCA survival rates, many communities globally remain hesitant to adopt these techniques and programs. Shin identified that vulnerable population groups often do not receive bystander CPR and PAD training due to socio-economic barriers, geographic and geopolitical barriers, and sometimes due to a general lack of medical science represented in those communities. He argued that it is up to us, as medical first responders, to identify these groups and look for solutions for those populations to access these two core interventions—bystander CPR and convenient access to an AED—at the time of cardiac event.

New strategies based on technological advancements have the greatest potential to reach large populations and link the closest CPR-trained layperson and PAD device to a cardiac arrest immediately after it is reported. In Seoul, Shin is involved with the implementation of the Neighborhood Access Defibrillation and Early Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (NAD-CPR) project to achieve this goal. Launched in 2014, NAD-CPR utilizes technology built into smartphones, including GIS tracking information, real-time social network updates and push activation systems, to connect OHCA patients with bystander CPR and PAD devices.

The progress being made by NAD-CPR ought to encourage other global communities looking for ways to improve OHCA survival rates. For additional resources, strategies and outreach ideas to bring greater bystander CPR rates and more AEDs to your area, see the JEMS special supplement on the HeartRescue Project, and stay tuned all week for more coverage from EMS Asia 2016.