To describe the characteristics and outcome in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in relation to (i) whether OHCA was coded by the dispatcher as a diagnosis or as a symptom and (ii) the delay until the first unit was alerted at the dispatch centre.
OHCA patients in Göteborg, during 17 months, excluding OHCA after calling the rescue team.
Among 250 cases, 20% were coded as a diagnosis (i.e. CA) with or without ongoing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Dispatch codes for the remaining 200 patients (80%) were mostly symptom related (unconsciousness in 61%, codes related to breathing problems in 10%, other codes in 24% and missing in 5%). Patients in whom the dispatchers coded the call as CA had an earlier start to CPR after collapse (median 2 vs. 10 min; P