Author: Isabel Gardett, PhD

Applying the American Heart Association’s Recommended Hands-on-Chest Time Performance Measures

Although it makes up only about 1-2% of all emergency calls for help, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) remains one of the most deadly1—and one of the most hotly debated—topics in emergency services. Emergency Medical Dispatchers (EMDs) can play a critical role in improving survival rates for victims of SCA. In order to provide the most timely, effective care, EMDs must first identify that an SCA is occurring, then move quickly to provide instructions for bystander CPR. To support the achievement of these twin goals, the American Heart Association (AHA) has recently released proposed standards for...

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Comparison of Emergency Medical Dispatcher Stroke Identification and Paramedic On-Scene Stroke Assessment

Some have argued that there is no need for a dispatcher stroke evaluation because emergency medical services (EMS) responders can perform a more detailed, in-person stroke evaluation in the field. In fact, little or no research exists to determine whether dispatch stroke evaluations are actually redundant when compared with EMS field responder assessments. : The purpose of this study is to determine whether some strokes identified by emergency medical dispatchers (EMDs) are not identified by field paramedics. Methods: The descriptive study utilized data from...

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Characterization of Hospital-Confirmed Stroke Evidence for Callers Who Were Unable to Complete Stroke Test Requests from the Emergency Medical Dispatcher

The findings of a recent study suggest that a patient’s inability to complete all three tasks in a stroke identification tool used by Emergency Medical Dispatchers (EMDs) is a uniquely strong predictor of stroke. s: To examine the characteristics of the 17 cases in which the patient was unable to complete all three tasks in the Stroke Diagnostic Tool (SDxT). Methods: The retrospective descriptive study utilized stroke data from three sources in Salt Lake County, Utah, USA—Emergency Medical Dispatch, emergency medical services (EMS), and receiving hospitals—for...

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Call Prioritization Times for Structure Fires in a Fire Priority Dispatch System

While Structure Fire is not the most common Chief Complaint handled by Emergency Fire Dispatchers (EFDs), the high death toll and other serious consequences that result make structure fires one of the most important types of calls EFDs handle.  The time needed to appropriately and effectively prioritize these calls can be evaluated using a time standard called Call Prioritization Time (CPT). In this study, we evaluate CPT for centers using the Fire Priority Dispatch System (FPDS). s: The primary objective in this study was to determine CPT for the FPDS...

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Research Literacy Among Emergency Dispatchers at an Emergency Communication Center: Developing Capacity for Evidence-Based Practice at Dispatch (A Pilot Report)

Expanding the role of evidence-based practice (EBP) in emergency medical services is a matter of increasing importance to researchers and practitioners alike. However, this movement toward EBP has not yet been applied to one critical area of prehospital care: emergency dispatching.  The primary reason for this gap is that emergency dispatchers (EDs) struggle to develop a research culture able to produce enough well-conducted studies to move toward true EBP. One starting point with documented potential for building the research capacity in a field is to develop...

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