Bystander Use of AEDs

iStock_000016798528_MediumHeart disease remains the number one killer of people worldwide, and if you've done any looking around in public places like airports you've probably noticed devices prominently displayed that say "AED" for automated external defibrillator. These devices are potentially lifesaving for folks who suffer a certain type of heart attack in public, where someone has the presence of mind to utilize one.  Just how often does that happen and what are the outcomes?  That's one of the studies Rick and I discuss on PodMed this week, as published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The statistics in this article are so impressive: "Of 43,762 patients with bystander-witnessed ventricular-fibrillation arrests of cardiac origin, 4499 (10.3%) received public-access defibrillation."  The study took place in Japan, one of the countries where such data are available, accessing information gathered between 2005 to 2013.  The primary outcome assessed was survival at one month with a favorable neurological outcome, and not surprisingly, showed that almost 39% of those who were defibrillated by a bystander using the device had a favorable outcome compared with just over 18% of those who did not have an AED deployed on their behalf. That's impressive in my opinion, and lends credence to the idea that both use of AEDs as well as bystander initiated CPR could save lives.  Rick points out though that only ventricular fibrillation would benefit here, and that the majority of such events take place in the home, when neither bystander nor AED are most often available.

Other topics this week, all from NEJM, include Effect of Short-Term vs. Long-Term Blood Storage on Mortality after TransfusionFive-Year Outcomes after Off-Pump or On-Pump Coronary-Artery Bypass Grafting and Tranexamic Acid in Patients Undergoing Coronary-Artery Surgery. Until next week, y'all live well.

 

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