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Audio File Examples of Telephone-Assisted CPR

Agonal breathing (sometimes called "gasping") represents a brain stem response to a lack of oxygen and is very common in cardiac arrest. Sometimes you can hear a patient's agonal breathing over the phone. In other cases, you can identify it from a callers' description of how the patient is breathing. The following recordings provide examples of the kinds of descriptions callers use. The last ("Audible Agonal") captures agonal breathing as heard clearly over the phone.

  • Agonal Described 1: The caller says the patient is "breathing but he's making noises" and goes on to say "he's breathing but he's making humming sound." Notice how the call-taker persists in her effort to ascertain whether the patient is breathing "normally." Asking if the patient is breathing normally (as opposed to asking if the patient is simply "breathing" is extremely important. A caller will report that a patient is "breathing" if the caller observes agonal breathing, yet that patient may very well be in cardiac arrest.
  • Agonal Described 2: The caller describes the patient as "gasping for air."
  • Agonal Described 3: The caller says the patient is "snoring like he's in a deep sleep."
  • Agonal Described 4: The caller says that the patient is "moaning."
  • Audible Agonal: You can hear agonal breaths early in the call. It sounds like the patient is snoring. The sound is particularly clear after the caller says, "This is what he's doing, I'll let you listen to it."

Note: Sound clips above provided in Waveform Audio filesWAV.

Sample CPR Protocols

Note: Files are PDF format unless otherwise stated.