AUDIT. Collecting data from out of-hospital cardiac arrest. Who should be included in the ambulance figures for successful out-of-hospital resuscitation?

Q. “There have been a few instances in which we attended cardiac arrest patients who were not actually in cardiac arrest when the crew arrived – this is because they were shocked using a public access defibrillator by someone who was not dispatched or even trained by us. In such instances where the patient is conscious on arrival of the crew, should this person be included in our out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival figures?”
A. No, the patient should not be included in the ambulance out-of-hospital cardiac arrest figures.
Q. “What about including patients as survivors if we gave telephone advice to someone that resulted in them ‘bringing the patient back’ before the crew arrived (if we know about it!)?”
A. Yes, they should be included in the ambulance survival figures if there is compelling evidence that they had had a cardiac arrest.
Q. “What about those who were shocked by someone using a defib. that was placed in a public location by us, and we actually trained them to use it?”
A. Yes, they too should be included in the ambulance survival figures.

(With thanks to Dr Rachael Donohoe, Head of Clinical Audit & Research, Clinical Audit & Research Unit, London Ambulance Service NHS Trust for bringing this to our attention).