Public access defibrillation doubles the chances of neurologically intact survival following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Although there are increasing numbers of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) available in the community, it is said they are used infrequently, despite often being available. This study aimed to match OHCAs with known AED locations to understand AED availability, the effects of reduced AED availability at night and the operational radius at which they can be effectively retrieved.
Results determined that existing AEDs are in fact being underused, with 36.4% of out of hospital cardiac arrests occurring withing 500m of an AED. Although more AEDs will improve availability, greater use can be made of existing AEDs, particularly by ensuring they are all available on a 24/7 basis.
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