Study: AEDs Missing Near the Scene of Three-Quarters of Cardiac Arrests

Findings underscore the need to not only place AEDs more strategically, but also help the public easily locate & use them


 
 

Web Newswire | | Monday, May 14, 2012


CHICAGO -- More than 75 percent of cardiac arrest victims are stricken too far away from an automated external defibrillator for the lifesaving device to be obtained quickly enough to offer the best chance at saving their lives, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania that will be presented today at the annual meeting of Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.

The findings may offer an important clue about why, despite CPR and AED awareness campaigns across the United States, cardiac arrest rates remain poor - below 10 percent - in most areas of the country.

An estimated 1 million AEDs have been sold throughout the United States - and put in airports, casinos, shopping malls, recreation centers and gyms and many other public places - but because theyre not subject to the same FDA regulations as implantable medical devices, its unclear exactly where all the devices are, and whether theyre in places where people are most likely to suffer cardiac arrests.

The new Penn study provides the first look at whether those locations match. The Penn Medicine team mapped the locations of 3,483 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests and the locations of 2,314 AEDs throughout Philadelphia Country. AEDs, which are used to restore the heart to a normal rhythm, were most commonly located in schools and on university campuses (30 percent), in office buildings (22 percent), and in residential buildings (4 percent).

However, just 7 percent of cardiac arrests occurred within a 200-foot radius of an AED (approximately a two-minute walk, roundtrip, from the scene). Ten percent occurred within 400 feet (a four-minute walk), and 21 percent happened within 600 feet (a six-minute walk) of an AED.

Since victims chances of survival drop by about 10 percent with each minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, patients who are shocked six minutes or more after arresting are likely to have very low survival rates.

AEDs are an essential part of the chain of survival thats necessary to save cardiac arrest victims, said senior author Raina Merchant, MD, MS, an assistant professor of Emergency Medicine. Despite thousands of them in the community, our results show they are usually not readily available during cardiac arrests.

Without an AED, the minutes bystanders spend waiting for paramedics to arrive could mean the difference between life and death. The investigators say their findings underscore the need to not only place AEDs more strategically in communities, but also find innovative ways to help the public easily locate and use them in emergencies, since precious time is often wasted hunting for the devices even when theyre nearby.

This winter, a Penn Medicine team conducted the MyHeartMap Challenge, a crowdsourcing contest that sent Philadelphia residents to the streets to locate, capture and map, via a special smart phone app, the locations of all of the citys AEDs. More than 350 teams and individuals participated in the contest, searching out more than 1,500 AEDs, in about 800 unique buildings around Philadelphia.

The top two finishers received $9,000 each, and the data collected will be used to create a mobile app to help bystanders locate the nearest AED during emergencies. It will also be provided to 911 operators to direct bystanders to AEDs to use while paramedics are en route to the scene.

Each of the AEDs the MyHeartMap Challenge participants located represents an opportunity to save lives, said Merchant, who serves as MyHeart Map Challenge director, but we need to ensure that the devices are in places where they will be most useful and accessible, and develop ways to make sure people know where to find them quickly when theyre needed.

Other authors of the study include Roger Band, Heather Griffis, Alison Leung, Sarah Wallace, David Gaieski, Brendan Carr, Fran Shofer, Crawford Mechem, Robert Neumar, and Lance Becker, and Benjamin Abella.Editors Note: The findings (Abstract #495) will be presented by Heather Griffis during a poster presentation between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 11, in River Hall B at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers, 301 East North Water Street, Chicago.

Penn Medicine is one of the worlds leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nations first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise. The Perelman School of Medicine is currently ranked #2 in U.S. News & World Reports survey of research-oriented medical schools.

The School is consistently among the nations top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $479.3 million awarded in the 2011 fiscal year. The University of Pennsylvania Health Systems patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nations top 10 hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; and Pennsylvania Hospital - the nations first hospital, founded in 1751. Penn Medicine also includes additional patient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region.Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2011, Penn Medicine provided $854 million to benefit our community.



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, AED

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Four Killed in New Mexico Medical Plane Crash

Crash near fairgrounds claims patient and crew of three.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Involved in Crash

Odessa ambulance and car collide during response.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Las Vegas Fire, AMR Reach New Deal

Tentative agreement reached over ambulance calls.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Fire Damages Several Homes in California Earthquake

Four homes destroyed and others damaged after quake rattles Napa.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Mexico Air Ambulance Crash

NTSB investigates crash that killed four.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Where in the World of EMS is A.J.? Scranton

JEMS Editor-in-Chief visits his hometown of Scranton, Pa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Over 100 Injured in California Earthquake

172 patients treated at Napa hospital after 6.0-magnitude earthquake.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >