Background: Public access automated external defibrillator (PAD) programs have been shown to be successful in several municipalities. This study sought to determine the usage of and survival rate from a large, urban PAD program in the first 10 years since its implementation.
Methods: This was a prospective, longitudinal, observational study from January 2002-2012 conducted in Los Angeles, California, a city with a population of 3.8 million. An incremental rollout resulted in a current total of 1300 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in place in city-owned buildings and other public places, including all 3 area airports, golf-courses, and public pools. All instances where an AED was applied were included in the study.
Results: There were 59 incidents of cardiac arrest with a public access AED applied, of which 42 (71%) occurred at an airport. 51 (86%) of the patients were male, with a median age of 64 years (interquartile range, 56.5 to 70 years). A shockable rhythm was detected and shocks were applied in 39 (66%) patients, with 30 (77%) of these patients achieving a return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). Of those patients who received shock(s) by public access AED, 27 (69%) survived to hospital discharge. The youngest survivors were a 25 year old male and a 34 year old female.
Conclusion: While the majority of PAD cases occurred at an airport, there were also survivors from other public locations. AEDs deployed as part of a large PAD program resulted in a very high survival rate for patients with cardiac arrest.
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