JOURNAL ARTICLE

Public access defibrillation—results from the Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry

M Lijovic, S Bernard, Z Nehme, T Walker, K Smith
Resuscitation 2014, 85 (12): 1739-44
25449346

AIM: To assess the impact of automated external defibrillator (AED) use by bystanders in Victoria, Australia on survival of adults suffering an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in a public place compared to those first defibrillated by emergency medical services (EMS).

METHODS: We analysed data from the Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry for individuals aged >15 years who were defibrillated in a public place between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2013, excluding events due to trauma or witnessed by EMS.

RESULTS: Of 2270 OHCA cases who arrested in a public place, 2117 (93.4%) were first defibrillated by EMS and 153 (6.7%) were first defibrillated by a bystander using a public AED. Use of public AEDs increased almost 11-fold between 2002/2003 and 2012/2013, from 1.7% to 18.5%, respectively (p < 0.001). First defibrillation occurred sooner in bystander defibrillation (5.2 versus 10.0 min, p < 0.001). Unadjusted survival to hospital discharge for bystander defibrillated patients was significantly higher than for those first defibrillated by EMS (45% versus 31%, p < 0.05). Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that first defibrillation by a bystander using an AED was associated with a 62% increase in the odds of survival to hospital discharge (adjusted odds ratio 1.62, 95% CI: 1.12–2.34, p = 0.010) compared to first defibrillation by EMS.

CONCLUSION: Survival to hospital discharge is improved in patients first defibrillated using a public AED prior to EMS arrival in Victoria, Australia. Encouragingly, bystander AED use in Victoria has increased over time. More widespread availability of AEDs may further improve outcomes of OHCA in public places.

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