Automated External Defibrillators Inaccessible to More than Half of Nearby Cardiac Arrests in Public Locations during Evening, Nighttime and Weekends
Background—Despite wide dissemination, use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in community settings is limited. We assessed how AED accessibility affected coverage of cardiac arrests in public locations.
Methods and Results—We identified cardiac arrests in public locations (1994-2011) in terms of location and time and viewed these in relation to the location and accessibility of all AEDs linked to the Emergency Dispatch Center as of December 31, 2011, in Copenhagen, Denmark. AED coverage of cardiac arrests was defined as cardiac arrests within 100m (109.4yd) of an AED: 1) irrespective of AED accessibility, and 2) accessible at the time of cardiac arrest. Daytime, evening and nighttime were defined as 08:00-15:59, 16:00-23:59, and 00:00-07:59, respectively. Of 1864 cardiac arrests in public locations, 61.8% (n=1152) occurred during the evening, nighttime or weekends. Of 552 registered AEDs, 9.1% (n=50) were accessible at all hours, and 96.4% (n=532) during daytime, all weekdays. Irrespective of AED accessibility, 28.8% (537/1864) of all cardiac arrests were covered by an AED. Limited AED accessibility decreased coverage of cardiac arrests by 4.1% (9/217) during daytime on weekdays, and by 53.4% (171/320) during the evening, nighttime and weekends.
Conclusions—Limited AED accessibility at the time of cardiac arrest decreased AED coverage by 53.4% during the evening, nighttime and weekends, which is when 61.8% of all cardiac arrests in public locations occurred. Thus, not only strategic placement but also uninterrupted AED accessibility warrants attention if public access defibrillation is to improve survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
- cardiopulmonary resuscitation
- cardiac arrest
- automated external defibrillator
- Received April 15, 2013.
- Revision received June 26, 2013.
- Accepted August 30, 2013.