In-home AEDs don't improve sudden cardiac arrest survival

Apr 01, 2008

David Callans, MD, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, will be available to comment on the New England Journal of Medicine study on the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for sudden cardiac arrests that occur in the home. Callans, author of the journal editorial that accompanies the new study, serves as associate director of electrophysiology for the Penn Health System, and has extensive experience in studying ventricular arrhythmias.

The news that the devices, which deliver shocks to restore the heart to its normal rhythm, don’t improve survival for those who have cardiac arrests at home may seem counterintuitive, he says.

“Arguments in favor of access to AEDs have an emotional quality that is not completely captured by success rates or cost efficacy of therapy,” Callans says. “But in light of the study findings and the high cost of the devices, future efforts should turn toward education, modification of risk factors and other methods for primary prevention of heart disease.”

Of the 170,000 sudden cardiac arrests that occur outside hospitals in the United States each year, about 80 percent take place in the home – with just two percent of victims surviving. The Home Automated External Defibrillator Trial (HAT), led by researchers at the Seattle Institute for Cardiac Research and the Duke University Clinical Research Institute, examined whether placement of automatic external defibrillators in the homes of patients at risk of sudden cardiac arrest would improve these survival odds.

HAT study researchers found that AEDs, which are increasingly being used in public places like airports and sports arenas, did not significantly improve a patient’s chances for survival during cardiac arrests in the home, compared with conventional resuscitation methods like CPR. Results of the study, to be presented April 1 at the American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session in Chicago, will be published in the April 24, 2008 print edition of the journal.

Source: University of Pennsylvania

Explore further: Experts call for higher exam pass marks to close performance gap between international and UK medical graduates

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Diverse gene pool critical for tigers' survival

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —New research by Stanford scholars shows that increasing genetic diversity among the 3,000 or so tigers left on the planet is the key to their survival as a species.

Pets and anesthesia

Mar 21, 2014

Have you been avoiding getting your pet regular dental care? You're not alone. Most pet owners understand that in animals—just as in people—good oral health is conducive to overall well-being, says Gillian Fraser, V00, ...

Holographic diagnostics

Jan 22, 2014

(Phys.org) —'Smart' holograms, which are currently being tested to monitor diabetes, and could be used to monitor a wide range of medical and environmental conditions in future, have been developed by researchers.

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Scientists make critical end-stage liver discovery

(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers in the University of Arizona's College of Pharmacy has discovered a molecular pathway that could be key to creating new therapeutics that would slow or even reverse ...

Solving cancer's secrets

Some fathers play ball with their sons. Or take them fishing. Chuck Perou's father took his son to his pathology lab to show him how a pathologist conducts tests and runs experiments. Perou, a nature junky ...

Harm-reduction program optimizes HIV/AIDS prevention

(Medical Xpress)—New research from UC San Francisco and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation has found that clients participating in a harm-reduction substance use treatment program, the Stonewall Project, decrease their use ...

Meth mouth menace

Something was up in Idaho. While visiting a friend in Athol, a small town north of Coeur d'Alene, Jennifer Towers, director of research affairs at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, noticed ...