In shopping malls, in schools, in amusement parks, sometimes even on the street… Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are almost everywhere in our daily lives, and even compulsory in certain places open to the public.
However, are they really used in the event of a heart attack? It seems like no, or at least not enough, according to the results of a new British scientific studypresented at the annual conference of the British Cardiovascular Society, in Manchester (United Kingdom).
Drawing on data from the East of England Ambulance Service and the national network of defibrillators developed by the British Heart Foundation, the study finds that these medical devices are only used in one in ten cardiac arrests occurring in an equipped place. It is therefore not a lack of defibrillators that explains this low figure.
The researchers based themselves on the 1,649 cardiac arrests that occurred in the study area between April and September 2022. Public access defibrillators were available (less than 500 m from the cardiac arrest) in 1,302 (79%) cases, but used in only 132 (10%) of cases. The study also highlighted significant disparities in terms of equipment: there were fewer defibrillators in the most disadvantaged areascompared to the most favored and busy areas.
The authors of the study point out that cardiac massage and the use of a defibrillator can more than double the chances of survival of a person in cardiac arrest. They invite the health authorities to review their copy, both in terms of means and distribution of defibrillators and awareness and education citizens to these life-saving devices.
On its website, the French Ministry of Health recalls that, “by decree […], anyone, even a non-physician, is authorized to use a [défibrillateur automatisé externe, ou DAE]regardless of age.” He adds that he is “essential that anyone who witnesses a cardiac arrest initiates the “chain of survival” made up of the 4 links that give victims the best chance of survival“, to know :
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