Assessment of Layperson Knowledge of AED use in Sports Clubs

A number of selected sports clubs were visited, and participants aged ≥16 were asked to complete a questionnaire relating to current awareness and attitudes toward AEDs, and their willingness to use the device. Each participant then attended a 2-hour small-group teaching session where they were educated on the role and use of an AED, with opportunity to practice AED use in a controlled environment. After receiving teaching, each individual again completed the questionnaire. 142 people participated in the study. Before teaching, the average level of knowledge regarding AED use was relatively low.

The most common reason identified for unwillingness to operate an AED was lack of knowledge on how to correctly use the device.  After teaching, 77.5%(n=110) of participants reported that they would definitely be willing to use an AED, compared with 20.4%(n=30) before teaching.

Conclusion: A structured educational programme can increase layperson awareness, confidence and willingness to operate an AED.

http://imj.ie/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Assessment-of-Layperson-Knowledge-of-AED-use-in-Sports-Clubs.pdf

Drones outpace ambulances by airdropping defibrillators to heart attack patients in real-world study

Researchers in Sweden are hoping they can be used to outrun ambulances as they respond to heart attacks.  In what they describe as the world’s first real-world feasibility study of drone-based defibrillator deliveries, first responders showed that going airborne helped shave off minutes where time matters most—by dropping the life-saving devices right on the doorsteps of homes in need. “When a drone arrived before the ambulance it was nearly two minutes quicker,” study author Sofia Schierbeck, of Stockholm’s Karolinska University Hospital, said in a statement.  The study was conducted within a certain radius of the airport near the city of Gothenburg, the second-largest city in Sweden, with a population of about 580,000. Three drone stations were set up, each with the ability to fly 5 kilometres, with automated flight programs overseen by trained drone pilots. After emergency dispatchers received a call for a cardiac arrest, they would send ambulances as well as the drones—which, after arriving at the scene, would hover at about 100 feet and lower an AED to the ground by a winch. Between June and September 2020, drones were dispatched to 12 cardiac arrests, successfully delivering AEDs near the patient in 11 cases, covering a median flight distance of 3.1 kilometres.  “Drone delivery of AEDs could be common practice in the coming years.”

https://www.fiercebiotech.com/medtech/drones-outpace-ambulances-by-airdropping-defibrillators-to-heart-attack-patients-real-world

Individualised treatment of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patient initiative in the Netherlands

Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is a major healthcare problem, with approximately 200 weekly cases in the Netherlands. Its critical, time-dependent nature makes it a unique medical situation, of which outcomes strongly rely on infrastructural factors and on-scene care by emergency medical services (EMS). Survival to hospital discharge is poor, although it has substantially improved, to roughly 25% over the last years. Recognised key factors, such as bystander resuscitation and automated external defibrillator use at the scene, have been markedly optimised with the introduction of technological innovations. In an era with ubiquitous smartphone use, the Dutch digital text message alert platform HartslagNu increasingly contributes to timely care for OHCA victims. Optimisation of available prehospital technologies is crucial to further improve OHCA outcomes, with particular focus on more available trained volunteers in the first phase and additional research on advanced EMS care in the second phase.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12471-021-01602-6

AED’s – history of how a device that shocks a failing heart back to live has become one of the greatest engineering success stories in medicine

Describing AED’s  as the Ctrl-Alt-Del for the heart, the article explains what’s happening inside the AED which has two main functions. First, it needs to recognize the lethal haywire rhythm of ventricular fibrillation. Second, it needs to deliver a 100-kilowatt shock to the heart. This jolt allows the heart to restart its normal rhythm, sort of like a Ctrl-Alt-Del for the organ. If the shock is delivered in the first minute of ventricular fibrillation, in more than 90 percent of cases the heart will regain a normal sequence of electric signals, and the steady contractions will return. It took decades of careful engineering to develop a device that could perform those two functions reliably, have a long shelf life, and be both safe and easy to use.

https://spectrum.ieee.org/idiotproofing-the-defibrillator

Increasing the Availability of Automated External Defibrillators at Sporting Events: A Call to Action from the American College of Sports Medicine

Just published in Curr Sports Medicine Journal.  It highlights that given that most sudden cardiac arrests (SCAs) occur outside of a medical facility, often in association with exercise and sporting events, and given that early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) plus defibrillation is the strongest predictor of survival from SCA, this Call to Action from the American College of Sports Medicine recommends increasing the availability and effectiveness of early CPR plus defibrillation so that the time from collapse-to-first automated external defibrillator shock is less than 3 min.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34357888/

A local non-profit in Jackson, USA is pairing with Avive, makers of AED machines to help those who suffer cardiac arrest in public

“The 4-Minute City is a program that we’re implementing in five communities across the country, and the ultimate goal is to improve survival rates from out of hospital cardiac arrest, which is one of the leading killers across the country,” said Sameer Jafri, President of Avive Solutions Inc. Jackson will be one of the five cities in the nation involved in this program. Avive Solutions has partnered with a local nonprofit, Friends of Heart, to create and disperse next generation AEDs. “We wanted it to be a coordinated approach, where we specifically placed these devices so that we can reduce response times versus AEDs just being out there in the community today,” Jafri said.

 

https://www.wbbjtv.com/2021/07/14/4-minute-city-program-aims-to-save-lives-in-jackson/

Heartsine’s (Stryker’s) Pay-It-Forward Heart Initiative

Forward Hearts lets survivors of a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) event, in which a HeartSine Automated External Defibrillator (AED) has been used, to pay it forward and potentially save another life by donating an AED to the organization of the survivor’s choice. When a HeartSine AED is used to save a life in a qualifying rescue, the sudden cardiac arrest survivor chooses an organization to receive a donated AED provided by Stryker on behalf of the survivor. The survivor can choose to make their donation to the organization anonymously or be part of a public announcement.

If you have a Forward Hearts story, or know of someone who survived a sudden cardiac arrest due to a HeartSine AED, please share your story with us by completing a Forward Hearts form.

https://heartsine.com/forward-hearts/

Out‑of‑hospital cardiac arrest prognosis during the COVID‑19

Since the outbreak of COVID19, many health-care providers have urged patients to limit or delay non-urgent visits to minimize the risk of transmission. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been up to 48% reduction in acute myocardial infarction-related hospitalizations. There are several explanations for increased Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) associated mortality during the pandemic; the first is due to increased unwitnessed cardiac arrest. Due to a stay at home order during this time, people who live alone are at higher risk of unwitnessed cardiac events.  Second, the rate of bystander CPR/shock treatment was halved compared to the non-pandemic period; the looming possibility of COVID-19 transmission may cause hesitancy to perform such activity.  In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with higher OHCA-related mortality.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32647947/