Volunteer Community Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillation (AED) Responder Program: A pilot program to assess if the use of a crowd sourcing mobile application will increase bystander/lay responder CPR and AED rates.

PI: Sheldon Cheskes





Hypothesis: We hypothesize that a Volunteer Community CPR/AED Responder program integrated with Peel Regional Paramedic Service’s Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) Program will improve access to high-quality CPR and AED use within the Peel Community compared with the current method of delivering care for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in the region of Peel.

Introduction: Previous research has shown for every minute that passes between collapse and defibrillation, survival rates from a witnessed sudden cardiac arrest decrease 7% to 10%. When lay-responder cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is provided, the decrease in survival rates is more gradual and averages 3% to 4% per minute increasing a person’s chance at survival until paramedics arrive. When an automated external defibrillator (AED) is applied and delivers a shock within the first 4 minutes of an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) the survival with a favourable neurological outcome increases up to 74%. Our current research shows that when a person collapses it take up to 1.37 minutes to call 911. Once the 911 call is made it takes just under 6 minutes for a defibrillator equipped vehicle (Fire or paramedic) to respond to this emergency in Peel Region.

Paramedics will respond to an average of three cardiac arrests per day in Peel Region. Our current bystander CPR rate is just under 50% while AED use is only 2.5% for all cardiac arrests. Our lay-responder support program has shown that AEDs could have been applied in >20 cases but were not due to the lay-responders being unaware of an AED location or the ability to access a public access AED (PAD). In 2016 there were 145 cases in Peel region where a cardiac arrest was witnessed/observed by a lay-responder and CPR/AED was not started. In Peel when an AED was applied by a lay responder within the first 3 minutes of a 911 call, over half of those patients that received a shock were discharged from the hospital alive and well.

To support the Region of Peels strategic plan of having a Community for Life where everyone has a sense of belonging and access to the services and opportunities they need to thrive throughout their lives. This pilot program builds a healthy, safe and connected community that serves our residents today and strengthens our foundation as we work towards a Community for Life.

Peel Regional Paramedic Services is seeking resolution to implement a pilot program lasting up to five years that will increase the propensity of action of Lay Responder assisted CPR and AED to those suffering and OHCA by summonsing community volunteers through a mobile application.