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Resuscitation. 2001 Jun;49(3):233-43.

Optimal Response to Cardiac Arrest study: defibrillation waveform effects.

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Emergency Medicine Department, St. Jan Hospital, Ruddershove 10, 8000 Brugge, Belgium.



Advances in early defibrillation access, key to the "Chain of Survival", will depend on innovations in defibrillation waveforms, because of their impact on device size and weight. This study compared standard monophasic waveform automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) to an innovative biphasic waveform AED.


Impedance-compensated biphasic truncated exponential (ICBTE) and either monophasic truncated exponential (MTE) or monophasic damped sine (MDS) AEDs were prospectively, randomly assigned by date in four emergency medical services. The study design compared ICBTE with MTE and MDS combined. This subset analysis distinguishes between the two classes of monophasic waveform, MTE and MDS, and compares their performance to each other and to the biphasic waveform, contingent on significant overall effects (ICBTE vs. MTE vs. MDS). Primary endpoint: Defibrillation efficacy with < or =3 shocks. Secondary endpoints: shock efficacy with < or =1 shock, < or =2 shocks, and survival to hospital admission and discharge. Observations included return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), refibrillation, and time to first shock and to first successful shock.


Of 338 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, 115 had a cardiac aetiology, presented with ventricular fibrillation, and were shocked by an AED. Defibrillation efficacy for the first "stack" of up to 3 shocks, for up to 2 shocks and for the first shock alone was superior for the ICBTE waveform than for either the MTE or the MDS waveform, while there was no difference between the efficacy of MTE and MDS. Time from the beginning of analysis by the AED to the first shock and to the first successful shock was also superior for the ICBTE devices compared to either the MTE or the MDS devices, while again there was no difference between the MTE and MDS devices. More ICBTE patients achieved ROSC pre-hospital than did MTE patients. While the rates of ROSC were identical for MTE and MDS patients, the difference between ICBTE and MDS was not significant. Rates of refibrillation and survival to hospital admission and discharge did not differ among the three populations.


ICBTE was superior to MTE and MDS in defibrillation efficacy and speed and to MTE in ROSC. MTE and MDS did not differ in efficacy. There were no differences among the waveforms in refibrillation or survival.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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