This 57-month study evaluated the use of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in the homes of high risk cardiac patients (survivors of out-of-hospital ventricular fibrillation [VF]). The goal was to determine the utility of these devices by trained lay persons in actual cardiac arrest episodes. Ninety-seven survivors of out-of-hospital VF were enrolled in the study; 59 patients received AEDs, and 38 patients served as a control group. During the study period, 7 deaths occurred in the hospital without preceding out-of-hospital cardiac arrest or from noncardiac causes. There were 14 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, 10 in the AED group and 4 in the control group. There was 1 long-term survivor in the control group. In the AED group, among the 10 cardiac arrests for which the device was available, it was used in 6. Only 2 patients were in VF; 1 was resuscitated with residual neurologic deficits and survived several months. This study observed a small potential for AEDs to save high risk patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine