Spontaneous trigger words associated with confirmed out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: a descriptive pilot study of emergency calls.Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med. 2020 Jan 03; 28(1):1.SJ
According to the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR), the trigger words used by callers that are associated with cardiac arrest constitute a scientific knowledge gap. This study was designed to find hypothetical trigger words in emergency calls in order to improve the specificity of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest recognition.
In this descriptive pilot study conducted in a Finnish hospital district, linguistic contents of 80 emergency calls of dispatcher-suspected or EMS-encountered out-of-hospital cardiac arrests between January 1, 2017 and May 31, 2017 were analysed. Spontaneous trigger words used by callers were transcribed and grouped into 36 categories. The association between the spontaneous trigger words and confirmed true cardiac arrests was tested with logistic regression.
Of the suspected cardiac arrests, 51 (64%) were confirmed as true cardiac arrests when ambulance personnel met the patient. A total of 291 spontaneous trigger words were analysed. 'Is not breathing' (n = 9 [18%] in the true cardiac arrest group vs n = 1 [3%] in the non-cardiac arrest group, odds ratio [OR] 6.00, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.72-50.0), 'the patient is blue' (n = 9 [18%] vs n = 1 [3%], OR 6.00, 95% CI 0.72-50.0), 'collapsed or fallen down' (n = 12 [24%] vs n = 2 [7%], OR 4.15, 95% CI 0.86-20.1) and 'is wheezing' (n = 17 [33%] vs n = 5 [17%], OR 2.40, 95% CI 0.78-7.40) were frequently used to describe true cardiac arrest. 'Is snoring' was associated with a false suspicion of cardiac arrest (n = 1 [2%] vs n = 6 [21%], OR 0.08, 95% CI 0.009-0.67).
In our pilot study, no trigger word was associated with confirmed cardiac arrest. 'Is wheezing' was a frequently used spontaneous trigger word among later confirmed cardiac arrest victims.