The following is a summary of “Dispatcher-assisted BLS for lay bystanders: A pilot study comparing video streaming via smart glasses and telephone instructions,” published in the September 2023 issue of Emergency Medicine by Aranda-García et al.
For a study, researchers sought to investigate the impact of dispatcher assistance through smart glasses on lay bystanders’ performance in providing basic life support (BLS) during simulated out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) scenarios compared to standard telephone assistance.
Twenty-eight lay participants were randomly assigned to either the smart glasses-video assistance (SG-VA) intervention group or the smartphone-audio assistance (SP-AA) control group. Participants received dispatcher guidance for BLS in an OHCA simulation. SG-VA rescuers utilized smart glasses connected to a wireless network, while SP-AA rescuers received instructions over a smartphone with the speaker function activated. The study compared BLS protocol steps, quality of chest compressions, and performance times between the two groups.
In the results, it was found that nine out of the 14 smart glasses-video assistance (SG-VA) rescuers correctly executed the basic life support (BLS) protocol, whereas none of the smartphone-audio assistance (SP-AA) rescuers achieved this (P = 0.01). SG-VA rescuers demonstrated a significantly higher success rate in various protocol steps, including opening the airway (13 vs. 5, P = 0.002), checking breathing (13 vs. 8, P = 0.03), correctly positioning the automatic external defibrillator pads (14 vs. 6, P = 0.001), and warning bystanders to stay clear before delivering the shock (12 vs. 0, P < 0.001). However, no significant differences were observed in performance times or chest compression quality. The mean compression rate was 104 compressions per minute in the SG-VA group and 98 compressions per minute in the SP-AA group (P = 0.46). Similarly, the mean depth of compression was 4.5 cm and 4.4 cm in the SG-VA and SP-AA groups, respectively (P = 0.49).
The study suggested that utilizing smart glasses for dispatcher-assisted bystander interventions during OHCA simulations significantly improved performance compared to standard telephone assistance. Further evaluation in real-life scenarios was warranted.