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Automated external defibrillator use for in-hospital cardiac arrest is not associated with improved survival
  1. Ben Gibbison1,
  2. Jasmeet Soar2
  1. 1Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol, UK
  2. 2Southmead Hospital, Bristol, UK
  1. Correspondence to Jasmeet Soar
    Southmead Hospital, North Bristol NHS Trust, Bristol BS10 5NB, UK; jas.soar{at}

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Defibrillation is the only effective treatment of cardiac arrest with a shockable rhythm (ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia). Defibrillation success declines by approximately 10% for each minute that defibrillation is delayed when there are no chest compressions.1 Cardiopulmonary resuscitation with high-quality chest compressions with minimal interruption are also important. Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are easy to use, identify the cardiac arrest rhythm and advise a defibrillatory shock, if appropriate. They can be used by individuals without medical training to shorten the time to defibrillation and improve survival for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.2 AEDs are also widely deployed in hospitals as most staff do not have the rhythm recognition skills to use a manual defibrillator. As opposed to out-of-hospital arrests, most in-hospital cardiac arrests have non-shockable rhythms (asystole or pulseless electrical activity) that do not respond to defibrillation. There are few studies of outcomes following in-hospital AED use. …

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  • Competing interests BG has no conflicting interests. JS is the current chair of the Resuscitation Council (UK), task force co-chair for the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) and an editor of the journal Resuscitation. He has no relationship with any AED manufacturer.