Leadership

SHOULD YOUR DEPARTMENT ADOPT AN EARLY DEFIBRILLATION PROGRAM?

Issue 7 and Volume 144.

SHOULD YOUR DEPARTMENT ADOPT AN EARLY DEFIBRILLATION PROGRAM? EMS IN THE FIRE SERVICE The automated external defibrillator (AED) works. How well it will work in your community depends on your department and the quality of the system you implement. The early defibrillation program, however, may not be suited to every department. When determining whether early defibrillation is right for your department, you must ask yourself some difficult questions, such as the following discussed by R. O. Cummins in “EMT-Defibrillation: Is It Right For You?” (JEMS, 19H5): How many cardiac arrests does your community have? It’s estimated that one out-of-hospital cardiac arrest per 1,000 people occurs per year in the United States. If your community has about 10,000 people, approximately six will experience ventricular fibrillation. Early defibrillation likely will convert three of them in the field, and one or two eventually will go home from the hospital. If your community is…

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