Automated external defibrillator use in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: Current limitations and solutions

Arch Cardiovasc Dis. 2019 Mar;112(3):217-222. doi: 10.1016/j.acvd.2018.11.001. Epub 2018 Dec 26.


Out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest (OHCA) is a major public health issue, with a survival rate at hospital discharge that remains below 10% in most cities, despite huge investments in this domain. Early basic life support (BLS) and early defibrillation using automated external defibrillators (AEDs) stand as key elements for improving OHCA survival rate. Nevertheless, the use of AEDs in OHCA remains low, for a variety of reasons, including the number, accessibility and ease of locating AEDs, as well as bystanders' awareness of BLS manœuvres and of the need to use AEDs. Several measures have been proposed to improve the rate of AED use, including optimization of AED deployment strategies as well as the use of drones to bring the AEDs to the OHCA scene and of mobile applications to locate the nearest AED. If they are to be effective, these measures should be combined with large communication campaigns on OHCA, and wide-scale education of the public in BLS and AEDs, to reduce the burden of OHCA.

Keywords: Arrêt cardiaque; Automated external defibrillation; Défibrillateurs automatiques externes; Défibrillation grand public; Outcome; Pronostic; Public access defibrillation; Sudden cardiac arrest.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Defibrillators*
  • Electric Countershock / adverse effects
  • Electric Countershock / instrumentation*
  • Electric Countershock / mortality
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / diagnosis
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / mortality
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / physiopathology
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / therapy*
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care*
  • Time-to-Treatment
  • Treatment Outcome