AEDs could save lives, survey says
“Placing automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in police and fire departments would have the most immediate and dramatic impact on sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survival rates,” according to 44 percent of the respondents participating in a survey sponsored by Hewlett-Packard Company at the American Heart Association`s Public Access Defibrillation II Conference held in Washington, D.C., in May. Other responses to the question, “In what one area would expanded access to AEDs have the most immediate and dramatic impact on SCA survival rates?” were the following (159 responses): Public Buildings (16.98%), Transportation (airplanes, trains, cruise ships) (10.06%), Auditoriums and stadiums (9.43%), Other (6.92%), Don`t know/no answer (6.29%), and Ambulances (5.66%).
Conference attendees represented the following public safety and emergency services categories: Hospital (24.55%), Ambulance service (16.17%), Fire department (7.78%), Allied Health Services (clinic, doctor`s office) (5.39%), Government Organization (6.59%), Police Department (1.80%), Trade Association, (1.20%), Other (34.13%), Don`t know/no answer (2.40%). They held the following positions: Physician (15.57%), EMS coordinator (13.77%), Researcher (8.38%), Paramedic (9.58%), EMT (6.59%), Public Safety Officer (Police/Fire) (2.40%), Other (41.92%), Don`t know/no answer (1.80%).
Among other data obtained through the survey were the following:
Does your organization now own AEDs? 167 responses: Yes (58.68%).
Where are the AEDs currently located in your community? (Please check all that apply.) 167 responses: Ambulances (66.47%), Fire Trucks (55.69%), Hospitals (34.73%), Police Cars (17.37%), Physicians` Offices/Clinics (14.37%), Sports Arenas/Shopping Malls (12.57%), Public/Government Buildings (6.59%), Transportation Centers (bus/train stations, airports) (5.39%), Other (16.17%), Don`t know/no answer (10.18%).
Who is authorized to use AEDs in your community? (Please check all that apply.) 164 responses: EMTs (77.44%), Fire/First Responders (48.78% each), Police (19.51%), Security Guards (12.80%), Flight Attendants (10.98%), Other (17.68%), Don`t know/no answer (10.37%).
What kind of improvement in SCA survival rate would you expect within two years of implementing a public access defibrillation (PAD) program? 160 responses: 6% to 10% (26.88%), 11% to 25% (25.63%), 26% to 50% (13.75%) 5% or less (10%), 51% or more (5.63%), Don`t know/no answer (18.13%).