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Circulation. 2011 Nov 15;124(20):2225-32. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.110.015545. Epub 2011 Oct 17.

Impact of onsite or dispatched automated external defibrillator use on survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Academic Medical Center-University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.



There have been few studies on the effectiveness of bystander automated external defibrillator (AED) use in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. The objective of this study was to determine whether actual use of onsite or dispatched AED reduces the time to first shock compared with no AED use and thereby improves survival.


We performed a population-based cohort study of 2833 consecutive patients with a nontraumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrest before emergency medical system arrival between 2006 and 2009. The primary outcome, neurologically intact survival to discharge, was compared by use of multivariable logistic regression analysis. An onsite AED had been applied in 128 of the 2833 cases, a dispatched AED in 478, and no AED in 2227. Onsite AED use reduced the time to first shock from 11 to 4.1 minute. Neurologically intact survival was 49.6% for patients treated with an onsite AED compared with 14.3% without an AED (unadjusted odds ratio, 5.63; 95% confidence interval, 3.91-8.10). The odds ratio remained statistically significant after adjustment for confounding (odds ratio, 2.72; 95% confidence interval, 1.77-4.18). Dispatched AED use reduced the time from call to first shock to 8.5 minutes. Neurologically intact survival was 17.2% for patients treated with a dispatched AED (unadjusted odds ratio, 1.07; 95% confidence interval, 0.82-1.39). Every year, onsite AEDs saved 3.6 lives per 1 million inhabitants; dispatched AEDs saved 1.2 lives.


The use of an onsite AED leads to a doubling of neurologically intact survival. In our system, the survival benefit of dispatched AED use was much smaller than that of onsite AED use.

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