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Public AEDs Improve Cardiac Arrest Outcomes

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 21 Nov 2018
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Image: A new study asserts that publicly accessible AEDs can increase heart attack survival (Photo courtesy of Getty Images).
Image: A new study asserts that publicly accessible AEDs can increase heart attack survival (Photo courtesy of Getty Images).
Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) that are publicly accessible can improve survival following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), according to a new study.

Researchers at Otsuma Women’s University (Tokyo, Japan), Osaka Municipal Fire Department (Osaka, Japan), Kyoto University (Japan), and other institutions conducted a study that reviewed AED applications, prehospital characteristics, and one-month outcomes following OHCA in Osaka Prefecture from 2011 to 2012. The proportion of AED pads that were applied to the patients’ chests by the public and one-month outcomes were analyzed according to the location of OHCA.

The results showed that public-access AED pads were applied to 3.5% of OHCA patients during the study period. Cardiac arrests that occurred in a public place and received bystander-initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) were associated with significantly higher application of public-access AED pads, with 29.6% receiving public-access defibrillation. One-month survival with a favorable neurological outcome was significantly higher among patients who had an AED applied (19.4%), compared to those who did not (3%). The study was presented at the American Heart Association (AHA) resuscitation science symposium, held during November 2018 in Chicago (IL, USA).

“The application of public-access AEDs leads to favorable outcomes after an OHCA, but utilization of available equipment remains insufficient, and varies considerably according to the location of the OHCA event,” concluded lead author and study presenter Takefumi Kishimori, MD, of Kyoto University, and colleagues. “Alongside disseminating public-access AEDs, further strategic approaches for the deployment of AEDs at the scene, as well as basic life support training for the public are required to improve survival rates after OHCAs.”

An AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, such as pulseless ventricular tachycardia (VT), and is able to treat them through defibrillation, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm. AEDs are designed to be simple to use for the layperson, using basic audio and visual commands to guide defibrillation. The use of AEDs is taught in many first aid, certified first responder, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) classes.

Related Links:
Otsuma Women’s University
Kyoto University

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