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Published online: 2024-01-18

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Effect of COVID-19 on the prevalence of bystanders performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Artur Krawczyk1, Krzysztof Kurek2, Gabriella Nucera3, Michal Pruc14, Damian Swieczkowski5, Dawid Kacprzyk1, Ewa Skrzypek6, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi7, Kamil Safiejko8, Lukasz Szarpak289
Pubmed: 38247439

Abstract

Background: The importance of bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) during out-of-hospital cardiac arrests is especially important in the context of coronavirus disease 2029 (COVID-19) because it can significantly influence survival outcomes. The objective of this meta-analysis was to examine the primary outcomes of bystander CPR during the pandemic and pre-pandemic periods.

Methods: A search was conducted in the PubMed Central, Scopus, and EMBASE databases, as well as the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials database, up to December 10, 2023. In cases where the value of I2 was greater than or equal to 50% or the Q-test indicated that the p-value was less than or equal to 0.05, the studies were considered to be heterogeneous. Sensitivity assessment was performed using the leave-one-out methodology. The study protocol was registered in PROSPERO with the ID number CRD42023494912.

Results: Twenty-five articles were included in this meta-analysis. Pooled analysis showed that bystander CPR frequency during the COVID-19 pandemic was 38.8%, compared to 44.8% for the pre-pandemic period (odds ratio: 1.04; 95% confidence interval: 0.93–1.16; p = 0.48).

Conclusions: The article’s conclusions indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic influenced a reduction in bystander CPR compared to the pre-pandemic period, but this difference was not statistically significant. Further research is recommended to understand attitudes, including the fears of witnesses, before performing CPR on patients with suspected or confirmed infectious diseases. The study highlights the importance of bystander intervention in emergency situations and the impact of a pandemic on public health response behaviors.

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