Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Coffee shops & ATMs may be ideal locations for lifesaving AEDs

Coffee shops & ATMs may be ideal locations for lifesaving AEDs Community coffee shops and automated teller machines (ATMs), might be ideal locations for public access to automated external defibrillators (AEDs), says a new study reported in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation. Use of publicly accessible AEDs can help to reduce the time to defibrillation in out of hospital cardiac arrests. Public access to defibrillation (PAD) means making AEDs available in public and/or private places where large numbers of people gather or in areas where high risk population lives. PAD programs are a major goal of the AHA to ensure that AEDs and trained lay rescuers are available in public areas where sudden cardiac arrest is likely to occur. This study also attempted to identify areas in the community where AEDs could be placed. In this new study, researchers from Canada evaluated different businesses and municipal locations in Toronto, Canada to find out the best to place AEDs in the community. These were ranked based on the number of cardiac arrests that had occurred within 100 meters of the locations, and when they were open. They found 2,654 publicly located, non-traumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in Toronto from January 2007 to December 2015. Coffee shops from three major chains and ATMs from the five largest Canadian banks occupied eight of the top 10 spots for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Toronto and its Downtown area. And, the rankings remained stable over time. Giving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and using an AED can greatly increase the chance of survival of a victim of cardiac arrest. Guidelines related to the use of AEDs have maintained early defibrillation as a high priority goal and have called for healthcare providers with a duty to perform CPR to be trained, equipped and authorized to perform defibrillation. In its latest update for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care published October 14, 2015 in the journal Circulation the AHA has said, “To reduce the time to defibrillation for cardiac arrest victims, the use of an AED should not be limited to trained individuals only (although training is still recommended). A combination of self-instruction and instructor-led teaching with hands-on training can be considered as an alternative to traditional instructor-led courses for lay providers.” Easy and quick access to AEDs can make a difference of life and death for the victim, who has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. This has been aptly demonstrated by this study, a sentiment also expressed by Timothy CY Chan, PhD, study author and Canada Research Chair in Novel Optimization and Analytics in Health, University of Toronto in Canada who said, “Health organizations, foundations and policymakers aiming to develop public access defibrillator programs could use our rankings to identify promising businesses to develop partnerships with for AED deployment. Ultimately, we want to get AEDs in the right locations, so they are accessible when needed most.” (Source: AHA Press Release, March 20, 2017)

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