Automated external defibrillator accessibility is crucial for bystander defibrillation and survival: A registry-based study

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Lena Karlsson, Carolina Malta Hansen, Mads Wissenberg, Steen Møller Hansen, Freddy K Lippert, Shahzleen Rajan, Kristian Kragholm, Sidsel G Møller, Kathrine Bach Søndergaard, Gunnar H Gislason, Christian Torp-Pedersen, Fredrik Folke

AIMS: Optimization of automated external defibrillator (AED) placement and accessibility are warranted. We examined the associations between AED accessibility, at the time of an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), bystander defibrillation, and 30-day survival, as well as AED coverage according to AED locations.

METHODS: In this registry-based study we identified all OHCAs registered by mobile emergency care units in Copenhagen, Denmark (2008-2016). Information regarding registered AEDs (2007-2016) was retrieved from the nationwide Danish AED Network. We calculated AED coverage (AEDs located ≤200 m route distance from an OHCA) and, according to AED accessibility, the likelihoods of bystander defibrillation and 30-day survival.

RESULTS: Of 2500 OHCAs, 22.6% (n = 566) were covered by a registered AED. At the time of OHCA, <50% of these AEDs were accessible (n = 276). OHCAs covered by an accessible AED were nearly three times more likely to receive bystander defibrillation (accessible: 13.8% vs. inaccessible: 4.8%, p < 0.001) and twice as likely to achieve 30-day survival (accessible: 28.8% vs. inaccessible: 16.4%, p < 0.001). Among bystander-witnessed OHCAs with shockable heart rhythms (accessible vs. inaccessible AEDs), bystander defibrillation rates were 39.8% vs. 20.3% (p = 0.01) and 30-day survival rates were 72.7% vs. 44.1% (p < 0.001). Most OHCAs were covered by AEDs at offices (18.6%), schools (13.3%), and sports facilities (12.9%), each with a coverage loss >50%, due to limited AED accessibility.

CONCLUSIONS: The chance of a bystander defibrillation was tripled, and 30-day survival nearly doubled, when the nearest AED was accessible, compared to inaccessible, at the time of OHCA, underscoring the importance of unhindered AED accessibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-37
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ID: 224601060