Abstract 199: Automated External Defibrillator Awareness and Knowledge Among the Lay Public in a Busy Urban Transportation System
Background: The prompt utilization of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) by bystanders can greatly improve survival from sudden cardiac arrest occurring in public locations. A recent study of laypersons in a European transportation hub has suggested public knowledge and surrounding AED use is lacking; we sought to confirm and extend these findings in similar settings in the US. We hypothesized that awareness of AEDs and who can use them will be low among the general public.
Objectives: To characterize layperson knowledge about AED use and emergency response in a major US metropolitan area transportation system.
Methods: A survey instrument was adapted from a prior investigation performed in Europe. Trained survey personnel administered this oral survey (approx. five minute duration) to adult laypersons at two public transportation centers in a large US city during May 2012. The participants were asked questions relating to their knowledge of AEDs and who is permitted to use them, as well as their willingness to utilize an AED in an emergency.
Results: Surveys were completed by 222 individuals. Mean age of respondents was 49.4±17.1 y, 44% were female and 25% reported prior CPR training within the past 5 years. When presented with a hypothetical cardiac arrest scenario, 63% said they would call for help and/or dial 911, but only 8% of respondents spontaneously suggested using an AED when prompted for other actions. When an AED was described, 59% of participants were aware that AEDs are available in public places, but only 38% were aware that AEDs can be used by laypersons. When informed regarding the availability for layperson use, 60% of respondents said that they would be willing to use an AED in an emergency situation.
Conclusions: Though the majority of layperson respondents were willing to use an AED in an emergency when educated, few respondents considered an AED in their immediate response and the minority were aware that AEDs could be accessed by the general public. Additional broad efforts to educate the US public about AED availability and use should be prioritized.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.