Determining Risk for Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest by Location Type in a Canadian Urban Setting to Guide Future Public Access Defibrillator Placement

Steven C. Brooks, MD, MSc; Jonathan H. Hsu, BHSc; Sabrina K. Tang, BASc; Roshan Jeyakumar, BSc; Timothy C.Y. Chan, PhD
Annals of Emergency Medicine 2013


Automatic External Defibrillators can be life saving when readily available for out of hospital cardiac arrests but they have been used in only a small percentage of total cardiac arrests in the best of implementations.

  • AED’s can be life saving

  • AED’s are used in a small minority of cardiac arrest cases

  • The location of AED’s is usually based on availability and political and emotional arguments

This study looks at the locations of 600 or so cardiac arrest cases that occurred in public. The top 5 locations categories by annual out of hospital cardiac arrests per site.  They calculated the number of sites required to Yield 1 OHCA per year.

Type of location # needed for 1 OHCA per year
Race track 2
Jail 2
Hotel/Motel 7
Hostel/Shelter 8
Convention Center 10
Rail Station 12
Golf Course 13
Sports Arena 19
Shopping Mall 20
School 72

This study mentioned that the majority of AED’s in this Canadian city were in their schools.

So we would have to place 72 AED’s in schools to have it used on one person per year.  This study suggests that these other public areas might be better locations for these devices.

Dr. Sporer is the EMS Medical Director for Alameda County

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