Automated external defibrillators (AEDs): improved training and education on the use of AEDs is critical
According to an analysis conducted in France by the Federal Healthcare Knowledge Centre (KCE), access to AEDs in public spaces has had only a limited impact on the number of deaths due to cardiac arrest. Improved training and education on the use of AEDs is critical in guaranteeing that all steps in the chain of survival are followed.
AED: limited impact on cardiac arrest fatalities
Does the availability of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in public spaces significantly reduce the number of deaths due to cardiac arrest? Not really, according to the report issued by the KCE. The independent research centre confirms that AEDs in public spaces only save 6 to 28 lives each year.
It is obvious that AED devices must be made available in a more coordinated and well-thought-out manner, and that other measures are also required to improve their effectiveness.
The need for more effective AED practices
It is essential that all steps in the chain of survival are followed: early recognition of the cardiac emergency, early notification of the emergency services, early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and early advanced care by paramedics or hospital staff.
The KCE wants more information campaigns to educate the general public, as well as mandatory training for businesses and schools on CPR and the use of AEDs. They also propose a new approach in which CPR-trained volunteers can be easily located by the emergency services.
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