Most cases (80%) of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occur in the home. A new suggests that deployment of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in homes may be an important additional strategy for SCA treatment. Using a prospectively-designed post-market study, researchers identified 25 cases in which a privately owned AED was used to treat SCA, including two uses on children.
The survival rate of 67% compares favorably with other studies that have demonstrated high survival rates, including one in casinos (Valenzuela; 2000; 53% survival), and one in Chicago airports (Caffrey; 2002; 61% survival). The national average survival rate is 7%.
Researchers conclude that people who purchase an AED for their home, even without previous AED experience, are able to use the device successfully in both adults and children. "The high survival rate observed in this study," they report, "demonstrates that lay responders with privately owned AEDs can successfully and safely use the devices."
SOURCE: Jorgenson DB, Yount TB, White RD, Liu PY, Eisenberg MS, Becker LB. Impacting sudden cardiac arrest in the home: A safety and effectiveness study of privately-owned AEDs. Resuscitation 05 October 2012 (10.1016/j.resuscitation.2012.09.033). In press.