Improving response to out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: The verified responder program pilot

Jennifer Blackwood, Michael Mancera, Scott Bavery, Christopher Carbon, Mohamud Daya, Brent VanKeulen, Dana N. Alteneder, Jeff Helm, Jeremy Robertson, Julie Charbonneau, James M. Nania, Brian Schaeffer, Mike Lopez, Tim Loncon, Bryan Collins, Michael Charter, Dawn B. Jorgenson, Mengqi Gao, Richard Price, Thomas Rea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Survival following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) decreases as the interval from collapse to CPR and defibrillation increases. Innovative approaches are needed to reduce response intervals, especially for private locations. Methods: We undertook the Verified Responder Program in 5 United States communities during 2018, whereby off-duty EMS professionals volunteered and were equipped with automated external defibrillators (AEDs). Volunteers were alerted using a geospatial smartphone application (PulsePoint) and could respond to nearby private and public suspected OHCA. The study evaluated the frequency of Verified Responder notification, response, scene arrival, and initial care prior to EMS arrival. OHCA surveillance used the CARES registry. Results: Of the 651 OHCA events (475 private, 176 public), Verified Responders were notified in 7.4% (n = 49). Among the 475 in a private location, volunteers were alerted in 8% (n = 38), responded in 2.7% (n = 13), arrived on scene in 2.3% (n = 11), and provided initial care in 1.7% (n = 8). Among the 176 in a public location, volunteers were alerted in 6.3% (n = 11), responded in 2.3% (n = 4), arrived on-scene in 2.3% (n = 4), and provided initial care in 2.3% (n = 4). Over 96% surveyed had positive impression of the program and intended to continue participation. No responder reported any adverse event. Conclusions: In this initial US-based experience of a smartphone program for suspected OHCA in private and public locations, Verified Responders reported a positive experience, though were only involved in a small fraction of OHCA. Studies should determine how this type of program could be enhanced to involve more OHCA events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Automated external defibrillator
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Emergency medical services
  • Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest
  • Smartphone
  • Social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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