Public Use of AEDs in Europe: Where Are We Now and Where Are We Going?
Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) were introduced into clinical use in the early 1980s [1,2], but acceptance was slow and it is only recently that their potential for community resuscitation has become widely appreciated. In Europe-as elsewhere-we remain a long way from the optimal use of an important technology. Sufficient experience has been gained, however, to show both the value of AEDs and their limitations, and to indicate where priorities for deployment might lie as their availability increases. The evidence confirming that we should encourage their widespread use is compelling. Whilst there may be a potential role for in-hospital use, the greatest contribution that AEDs can make towards improving survival from cardiac arrest lies outside hospital-for use in public places by persons who are not healthcare professionals.
KeywordsCardiac Arrest Public Place Ambulance Service Basic Life Support Automate External Defibrillator
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 4.Koster RW (2002) Automatic external defibrillator: key link in the chain of survival. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 13:S92-S925Google Scholar
- 7.Arntz HR, Oeff M, Willich SN, Storch WH, Schroder R (1993) Establishment and results of an EMT-D program in a two-tiered physician-escorted rescue system. The experience in Berlin, Germany. Resuscitation 26:39–46Google Scholar
- 9.Calle PA, Verbeke A, Vanhaute O, Van Acker P, Martens P, Buylaert W ( 1997) The effect of semi-automatic external defibrillation by emergency medical technicians on survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: an observational study in urban and rural areas in Belgium. Acta Clin Belg 52:72–83PubMedGoogle Scholar
- 13.Martens P, Calle P, Vanhaute 0 (1998) Theoretical calculation of maximum attainable benefit of public access defibrillation in Belgium. Belgian Cardio Pulmonary Cerebral Resuscitation Study Group. Resuscitation 36:161–163Google Scholar
- 15.Sedgwick ML, Watson J, Dalziel K, Carrington DJ, Cobbe SM (1992) Efficacy of out of hospital defibrillation by ambulance technicians using automated external defibrillators. The Heartstart Scotland Project. Resuscitation 24:73–87Google Scholar
- 19.Woollard M, Whitfield R, Smith A, Colquhoun M, Newcombe RG, Vetter N, Chamberlain D (2003) The acquisition and retention of skills in the use of the automated external defibrillator and CPR by lay responders: a prospective study. Resuscitation (in press)Google Scholar
- 21.De Vreede-Swagemakers JJM, Gorgels APM, Dubois-Arbouw WI, van Ree JW, Daemen MJAP, Houben LGE, Wellens HJJ (1997) Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the 1990s: a population-based study in the Maastricht area on incidence, characteristics and survival. J Am Coll Cardiol 30:1500–1505PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar