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AED Survival Rate The Average Percentage of Success

AED Survival Rate The Average Percentage of Success

AED survival rates

The survival rate of individuals suffering from cardiac arrest is negligible if not treated with CPR and defibrillation. However, with swift administration of CPR by a bystander and defibrillation within three minutes of collapse, the survival rate can reach up to 74% for those experiencing ventricular fibrillation. Timely response has been repeatedly shown to be the most vital factor for survival. Having access to an AED and being familiar with the signs of sudden cardiac arrest can play a crucial role in saving numerous lives.

Survival Rates for AED-Shock Treated Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Before Emergency Medical Services Arrival

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology analyzed 13,769 cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests recorded from December 2005 to May 2007. The purpose of the study was to determine the impact of bystander CPR and AED shock therapy, if any, provided prior to the arrival of EMS personnel on the survival rates to hospital discharge for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) victims. The time interval between collapse and defibrillation shock was not documented in this study.

Based on the available data, the researchers discovered that:

  • 7% of cardiac arrest victims with no bystander CPR or defibrillation shock survived to hospital discharge.
  • 9% of cardiac arrest victims with bystander CPR but no AED shock survived to hospital discharge.
  • 38% of cardiac arrest victims with bystander CPR and an AED shock survived to hospital discharge.

Shockingly, out of the 13,769 cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, only a small portion of 32% received CPR from bystanders, and only 2.1% received an AED shock. Survival rates could have been significantly higher if aid had been given earlier, as EMS personnel usually arrive between 4 and 10 minutes.

Ideal Circumstance Survival Rates for Cardiac Arrest Patients

The American Heart Association’s journal Circulation published a study in 2018, which analyzed 49,555 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests that occurred in major U.S. and Canadian cities. The focus was on examining the impact of public AED use on survival rates under ideal circumstances.

  1. The sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occurred in public.
  2. The collapse was witnessed.
  3. The victim had an AED shockable rhythm—either ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia.

The 2018 study published in Circulation, the American Heart Association’s journal, analyzed 49,555 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in major cities in the US and Canada, focusing on the impact of public AED use on survival rates. Under ideal conditions, SCA victims had a survival rate of 66% with bystander AED use and 43% without. The results indicated that those who received a shock from a publicly accessible AED had 2.62 times higher chances of surviving until hospital discharge and 2.73 times higher chances of having normal functioning after discharge, compared to those who only received shocks after emergency medical services arrived. The study concluded that the quickest response to cardiac arrest victims, prior to the arrival of emergency responders, is the most critical factor in survival rates.

Impact of Time to Defibrillation on Cardiac Arrest Survival Rates

The earlier studies analyzed the survival rates of cardiac arrest patients who received public access defibrillation prior to the arrival of emergency medical services. However, additional studies have shed more light on the impact of response time when non-medical personnel have access to AEDs.

Comparison of Survival Rates between Lay Volunteers and Emergency Medical Services in Italy

In 2002, a study was published in Circulation that explored the impact of providing untrained lay volunteers with automated external defibrillators (AEDs). The 1285 volunteers, based in the Piacenza region of Italy, had no previous CPR training, but were given access to 39 AEDs. Over a 22-month period, the volunteers were able to respond to 143 cases of sudden cardiac arrest in 4.8 minutes, as compared to 6.2 minutes for emergency medical services. Without taking into account factors such as the presence of shockable rhythms or if the collapse was witnessed, the faster response time was found to increase survival rates by three times. 10.5% of victims survived with early lay defibrillation, compared to only 3.3% with traditional EMS.

Police vs Emergency Medical Services in Florida

A study was conducted in Miami-Dade County, Florida to investigate the impact of equipping police cars with Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) on response time in cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. The study found that police officers arrived at the scene in an average time of 4.88 minutes, compared to 7.64 minutes for emergency medical services (EMS). The survival rate for victims treated by police with AEDs was 17.2%, which was higher compared to the 9% survival rate for those treated by EMS.

Impact of AED Training on Casino Security Guard Response Time

The New England Journal of Medicine published a study in 2000 that investigated the impact of training casino security personnel in AED use and providing them with defibrillators. This study is particularly valuable as it controlled for variables such as the presence of ventricular fibrillation and the exact response time. The results showed that of 105 patients with ventricular fibrillation, those who received a shock within 3 minutes of the witnessed collapse had a survival rate of 74%, compared to 49% for those who received their first shock after 3 minutes. The study demonstrated that the best outcomes occur when the collapse is witnessed and defibrillation occurs within 3 minutes.

The Benefits of Early Defibrillation on Cardiac Arrest Survival Rates

The reason why quick defibrillation improves survival rates is straightforward: it stops the irregular and ineffective heart rhythm during cardiac arrest and restores normal heart rhythm, allowing the heart to pump oxygen-rich blood to the body again.

Delaying defibrillation can result in the brain and other vital organs suffering damage as the heart stops pumping blood to the body, and chest compressions can only sustain the body for a limited amount of time before the oxygen in the blood is depleted. Defibrillation is the only way to help restart the heart and pump oxygenated blood throughout the body, thus reducing the risk of brain damage and increasing the chances of survival.

Why Don’t All Cardiac Arrest Victims Survive?

Unfortunately, there are cases where defibrillation with an AED or advanced cardiac life support, even if applied promptly and effectively, may not result in a successful outcome. This is due to two main reasons. Firstly, some cardiac arrest victims have a non-shockable rhythm, such as pulseless electrical activity or asystole, which cannot be corrected by an external defibrillator that only works on heart rhythms with chaotic electrical activity. Secondly, the presence of multiple health problems or structural issues in the heart may make treatment untenable. Nevertheless, providing immediate chest compressions and defibrillation increases the chances of survival.

The Life-Saving Potential of Public Access Defibrillation

Although some victims of cardiac arrest may not survive, providing immediate CPR in combination with rapid defibrillation is the most effective way to increase survival rates. In an effort to save as many lives as possible, many states in the U.S. have implemented public access defibrillation programs and laws to enhance access to external defibrillators.

You can often find easy-to-use portable defibrillators like the Philips HeartStart FRx or HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P, 360P, or 450P in:

  • Schools
  • Colleges
  • Gyms
  • Swimming pools
  • Shopping malls
  • Dental offices
  • Police stations
  • Hospitals

If your state has a well-established public access defibrillation program, emergency responders may have access to a list of AEDs located in the nearby area and can provide you with the exact location. This highlights the importance of calling 9-1-1 immediately when witnessing someone suddenly collapse or finding an unconscious and unresponsive individual.

Steps to Take When Witnessing a Cardiac Arrest

If you see someone collapse suddenly, become unresponsive, and stop breathing or breathe in gasps:

  1. Call 9-1-1 and send someone to get an AED.
  2. If it’s safe to approach, provide compression-only CPR (don’t give rescue breaths unless you’re trained to do so).
  3. Attach the electrode pads, turn the defibrillator on, and follow the instructions. The AED will analyze the patient’s heart rhythm and prompt you to administer a shock if it detects a shockable rhythm (ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia).

It’s crucial to keep in mind that the survival rate from cardiac arrest decreases by 7-10% for every minute that a patient goes without treatment. Make sure you are aware of the location of the nearest AED and act quickly if you witness someone collapsing. Time is of the essence, as the life of the individual is dependent on prompt action being taken.

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