- Paper Report
- Open Access
Automated external defibrillators
- Richard Venn1
© Current Science Ltd 2000
- Published: 6 December 2000
- Automated external defibrillator
- ventricular fibrillation
Rapid defibrillation following cardiac arrest is the major determinant of survival, and so schemes allowing public access to defibrillators have been implemented in the USA. AED may improve the simplicity of defibrillation by the public. American Airlines now has an AED on all flights; an environment where a rapid medical emergency response is not possible. In this and similar locations the AED may have a very positive impact on outcome.
Review of arrhythmia and outcome in 200 persons where the AED was utilised on American Airlines aircraft between June 1997 and July 1999.
The AED was used on 191 people aboard the aircraft, and nine in the terminal. Electrocardiograph (ECG) data were available for 185 patients and defibrillation was advised in 14 patients (all with ECG evidence of VF). Defibrillation was not advised in the remainder, giving a sensitivity and specificity of 100% in identifying VF. Survival to hospital discharge following defibrillation was 40%. The use of the AED as a monitoring device in conscious patients resulted in no complications.
Valenzuela TD, Roe DJ, Nichol G, Clark LL, Spaite DW, Hardman RG: Outcomes of rapid defibrillation by security officers after cardiac arrest in casinos. N Engl J Med 2000, 343:1206-1209.