A text message alert system for trained volunteers improves out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival

Ruud W. M. Pijls*, Patty J. Nelemans, Braim M. Rahel, Anton P.M. Gorgels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aims: The survival rate of sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCAs) increases by early notification of Emergency Medical Systems (EMS) and early application of basic life support (BLS) techniques and defibrillation. A Text Message (TM) alert system for trained volunteers in the community was implemented in the Netherlands to reduce response times. The aim of this study was to assess if this system improves survival after OHCA. Methods and Results: From April 2012 to April 2014 data on all 1546 emergency calls for OHCA in the Dutch province of Limburg were collected according to the Utstein template. On site resuscitation attempts for presumed cardiac arrest were made in 833 cases, of which the TM-alert system was activated in 422 cases. Two cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) scenarios were compared: 1. TM-alert system was activated but no responders attended (n=131), and 2. TM-alert system was activated with attendance of >= 1 responder(s) (n= 291). Survival to hospital discharge was 16.0% in scenario 1 and 27.1% in scenario 2 corresponding with OR= 1.95 (95% CI 1.15-3.33; A=.014). After adjustment for potential confounders the odds ratio increased (OR= 2.82; 95% CI 1.52-5.24; P=.001). Of the 100 survivors, 92% were discharged from the hospital to their home with no or limited neurological sequelae. Conclusion: The TM-alert system is effective in increasing survival to hospital discharge in OHCA victims and the degree of disability or dependence after survival is low.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-187
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • Survival
  • OHCA
  • Community responder

Cite this