Abstract P155: An Analysis of Layperson Ability and Willingness to Use an Automated External Defibrillator
Introduction Strategies to increase survival for victims of acute cardiac events include increased availability of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) throughout communities. Upon IRB approval, this study investigated layperson willingness and ability to use an AED.
Methods Part 1. In order to analyze willingness to use an AED a 9 question survey was developed and administered to 100 random subjects. Survey questions explored willingness to use an AED on a family member versus a stranger, how training in AED use effects willingness, and the effect of demographics such as age, gender, educational level, and medical environment exposure. Part 2. In order to analyze the ability to correctly use an AED, 20 subjects with no training or exposure to AED use were placed in a simulated emergency situation necessitating the use of a training AED on a mannequin. Correct use was scored using American Heart guidelines, within 90 seconds (turn on device, apply pads properly, plug in leads, shock when indicated, stay clear during shock).
Results 15% of subjects could not correctly identify an AED when shown a photo of an AED mounted in a public location. 7 of 85 subjects (8%) were definitely not willing to use an AED on a family member while 11 of 85 subjects (13%) were definitely not willing to use an AED on a stranger. Only 60% of subjects tested were able to execute correctly all steps in AED use as defined by the American Heart Association.
Discussion The results indicate that availability of AEDs within the community may exceed the publics’ knowledge and willingness to utilize the device when necessary. Most subjects unwilling to use an AED were concerned that they might somehow harm the victim. Only 60% of untrained laypersons were able to demonstrate proper AED use during a simulated emergency. Targeted efforts in public education and AED training could increase the willingness and ability of untrained laypersons to consider and use the device.