Abstract 15959: Where is the AED? Limited Public Ability to Recognize and Understand the Universal ILCOR Sign for AEDs
Introduction: Automated external defibrillators (AED) improve survival from cardiac arrest. However, a prerequisite is that bystanders not only have the knowledge and willingness to use an AED, but also the ability to locate one. The International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) has introduced a universal sign to identify the location of AEDs worldwide. It is currently unknown if the public is able to recognize and understand the sign.
Aim: To study if the public is able to recognize and understand the ILCOR AED sign and to explore how well national resuscitation councils have adopted the sign.
Methods: A survey was conducted among travelers in an international airport serving 21 million passengers annually. Participants were asked to state the meaning of six international safety signs, one of which was the ILCOR AED sign. The five other signs were: No smoking, fire extinguisher, emergency exit, high voltage, and danger of explosion. In addition, all national resuscitation councils forming ILCOR were inquired about: 1) whether councils recommend the ILCOR AED sign; 2) reasons for not recommending the sign; 3) legislation on AED signage.
Results: In total, 493 travelers (42 nationalities) were included. Correct identification of the ILCOR AED sign was achieved by 39% (95%CI: 0.35;0.43). Other signs: No smoking 99% (95%CI: 0.98;1.0), fire extinguisher 84% (95%CI: 0.81;0.88), emergency exit 75% (95%CI: 0.72;0.79) high voltage 65% (95%CI: 0.61;0.69), and danger of explosion 52% (95%CI: 0.47;0.56). Information on AED signage was obtained from 41 of 44 (93%) national resuscitation councils; 26 councils (63%) recommended the use of the ILCOR AED sign. Of the 15 councils that did not recommend the ILCOR AED sign, three were not aware of the existence of the sign, one council had not yet decided whether or not to recommend the sign, and one council did not recommend any signage at all. The remaining councils did not provide a reason for not recommending the sign. In two countries, the ILCOR AED sign was mandatory by law and in one country the use of a different sign was a legal requirement.
Conclusion: There is limited public recognition and understanding of the ILCOR AED sign. The ILCOR AED sign is not unanimously recommended by national resuscitation councils worldwide.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.