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Increase in AED number prompts improved survival

ESC Congress News 2015 - London

Ventricular Arrhythmias and Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD)

A Danish study has found that the survival of cardiac arrest patients following bystander CPR increased from below 10% in 2001 to around 55%in 2012. The change follows a substantial increase in the number of AEDs in Denmark - from 141 in 2007 to 7800 in 2012 - and improvements in public CPR education.

Investigator Steen Hansen from Aalborg University in Denmark said that prompt use of an AED can have a ‘significant impact on the chances of survival’ but this will be dependent on the AED’s proximity to the cardiac arrest and a bystander present able to locate and use the device. This study found that, while 74% of cardiac arrests occurred in the home, the rate of bystander defibrillation for those in public locations increased from 1.4% in 2001 to 11.9% in 2012. (Prog. No. 4072)

Another study reported at this congress found that CPR for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest had little benefit for survival beyond 35 minutes - and no patient from a list of 17,238 emergency cases having CPR for more than 53 minutes survived one month after cardiac arrest. Indeed, the probability of survival declined with each minute of CPR, such that nearly all survivals were achieved within 35 minutes. ‘This implies that we need to start CPR as soon as possible,’ said Yoshikazu Goto from Kanazawa University Hospital in Japan.