New Study Places Defibrillators in Public Places


A recent study found that placing defibrillators in offices and other public areas with trained people can have a positive impact to cardiac arrest patients at the time of the arrest itself. We are used to seeing defibrillators being rushed in by a first responder paramedics but having them place in these areas can be very effective to treat patients.

The Problem

Defibrillators have gradually become a very standard part of the equipment in airports, convention centers and health clubs. It has not been clear that the placed equipment in these areas actually achieved the life preservation objective for having them there in the first place. The report cited that 250,000 Americans die from a cardiac arrest which has been caused from heart attacks and various accidents. The Statistics stand against such an incidents ending up I with life saving result. Most people who have a cardiac arrest in a public place of any sort be it an office, social club or center will end up in the hospital for treatment, the vast majority will have sort of heart failure. We hope paramedics can apply the defibrillator equipment in a timely fashion they invariably miss the mark against the time sensitive situation. So the potential to assist the paramedic to place the equipment in appropriate venues can increase the success rate.

The Study

The study focused on placing small laptop size defibrillators like the Physio-Control Lifepak 500 AED Defibrillator into the hands of volunteers in different locations. Volunteers in these places where trained to take part in the study. Some were trained in CPR while some where trained to use the defibrillators. The study involved 993 locations with 20,000 volunteers. After two years there was 292 occasions when the training was use with 44 surviving cases, 29 from the use of defibrillators and 15 from CPR. The study projected very positive results as the defibrillators are distributed to more locations.  Defibrillators can double survival with trained teams available to carry out treatment when the need occurs. The training and equipment makes it very safe. The machinery can detect if body is going through a cardiac arrest to make sure the shocks are not administers incorrectly and in the two years there was not one occasion where a shock was ordered prematurely or in the incorrect circumstances.  Dr.Raymond Gibbons of the Mayo Clinic said he hopes the results will persuade more businesses to install defibrillators. “It potentially will have an enormous impact,” he said of the study. “Hopefully over time this will save lives.”

The Results

The study is likely to start placing defibrillators in shopping centers, health clubs and recreation areas where the elderly socialize and the risk of these issues are far higher. There was an occasion where a 41 year old man went on the treadmill and collapsed with cardiac arrest since there was a defibrillator in the health club he was quickly shocked and saved. There was a questionable issue in the study where 15% of placed defibrillators only saved one case. The general consensus is that this program will help many cardiac arrest sufferers.