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Automated external defibrillators: What’s established? What’s new?

Hans-Joachim Trappe
Department of Cardiology and Angiology, University of Bochum, Germany
[Applied Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology 16: 162-173, 2012]


Prognosis of patients (pts) with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (CA) due to ventricular fibrillation (VF) or ventricular tachycardia (VT) is bad and the survival rate is 5-8%. Bystander first aid, defibrillation and advanced life support is essential for neurologic outcome in pts after cardiac arrest due to VF/VT. In those pts defibrillation should be performed as soon as possible, at least within 5 minutes after CA. Public access defibrillation in the hands of trained laypersons (first responder) with automated external defibrillators (AED) seems to be a good approach in the treatment of VF or VT. The use of AEDs by basic life support ambulance providers or first responder in early defibrillation programs has been associated with a significant increase in survival rates. This is caused by a shorter “call-to-arrival-time” in first responders compared to professionals. Nevertheless, ideal places for installation of AED are still unclear and further studies are necessary.

Key words: emergency medicine, automated external defibrillators, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

Correspondence address
Prof. Hans-Joachim Trappe, M.D.
Department of Cardiology and
University of Bochum
Hoelkeskampring 40
44625 Herne
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