Objectives: Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is a global health problem with a low survival rate. Telephone cardiopulmonary resuscitation (T-CPR) guidance by emergency medical services (EMS) dispatchers can improve CPR performance and, consequently, survival rates. Accordingly, the American Heart Association (AHA) has released performance standards for T-CPR in current practice to improve its quality. However, no study has examined T-CPR performance in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate T-CPR performance in the Saudi Arabian EMS system.

Methods: A retrospective observation of OHCA calls in current practice was conducted in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. OHCA calls were reviewed to identify those that met the selection criteria. Variables collected included return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), OHCA recognition rate, time from EMS call receipt to location acquisition, to OHCA recognition and to commencement of CPR.

Results: A total of 308 OHCA cases were reviewed, and 100 calls were included. ROSC was identified in 10% of the included calls. OHCA was correctly recognized in 62% of the calls. The time to OHCA identification and CPR performance from EMS call receipt were found to be 303 s and 367 s, respectively.

Conclusion: T-CPR performance in Saudi Arabia is below AHA standards. However, this is similar to what has been reported in the literature. Avoiding any unnecessary call transfer during OHCA calls and prompt identification of callers’ locations could improve T-CPR performance.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.