Oct 6, 2006

Public access defibrillation. Limited use by trained first responders and laymen

Der Anaesthesist
S MaischA E Goetz


As ventricular fibrillation is the most frequent initial heart rhythm causing out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest, defibrillation is of essential significance. Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) have been available for some years and as a result defibrillation can be carried out by individuals other than physicians and healthcare providers such as trained first responders and untrained lay rescuers. This so-called public access defibrillation nourished hope of progress in the treatment of sudden cardiac arrest. However, several limitations exist, such as low frequency of sudden cardiac arrest in public, rare use of publicly placed AEDs, low cost effectiveness, legal requirements and insufficient public willingness to help. Due to these restrictions of public access defibrillation other measures are more promising than the attempt at general distribution of AEDs. These measures are primary or secondary prophylaxis of sudden cardiac arrest, general knowledge of adequate activation of emergency medical services, implementation of first responder teams equipped with AEDs and particularly a better education in and application of the well-established principles of cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

  • References65
  • Citations3


  • References65
  • Citations3


Mentioned in this Paper

Ventricular Fibrillation
Emergency Care
Cost Effectiveness
Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Cardiac Rhythm Type
Electroversion Therapy
Rescue Work
Sudden Cardiac Death

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