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Time delays to reach dispatch centres in different regions in Europe. Are we losing the window of opportunity? — The EUROCALL study

Nikolaos Nikolaou, Maaret Castrén, Koenraad G. Monsieurs, Diana Cimpoesu, Marios Georgiou, Violetta Raffay, Rudolph Koster, Silvija Hunyadi-Anti?evi?, Anatolij Truhlá?, Leo Bossaert, The EUROCALL investigators



In out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) the start of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) by a single rescuer may be delayed considerably if the total time (TT) to connect the telephone call to the Emergency Medical Communication Centre (EMCC) is prolonged. EUROCALL investigated the TT-EMCC and its components using different calling procedures.


This prospective, multicentre, randomised study was performed in April 2013. Telephone calls were randomly allocated to time of call, and to those connecting directly to the EMCC (1-step procedure) and those diverted before connecting to the EMCC (2-step procedure).


Twenty-one EMCCs from 11 countries participated in the study. Time to first ringtone was similar between 1-step 3.7?s (IQR 1.0–5.2) and 2-step calls 4.0?s (IQR 2.4–5.2). For the 1878 1-step calls, the median TT-EMCC was 11.7?s (IQR 8.7–18.5). For the 1550 2-step calls, the median time from first ringtone to first call-taker was 7?s (IQR 4.6–11.9) and from first call-taker to EMCC was 18.7?s (IQR 13.4–29.9). Median TT-EMCC was 33.2 s (IQR 24.7–46.1) and was significantly longer than the TT-EMCC observed with the 1-step procedure (P?<?0.0001). Significant differences existed among participating regions between and within different countries both for 1-step and 2-step procedures.


TT-EMCC was significantly shorter in a 1-step procedure compared to a 2-step procedure. Regional differences existed between countries but also within countries. This

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