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Distribution and use of automated external defibrillators and their effect on return of spontaneous circulation in Danish hospitals

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INTRODUCTION: Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) increase survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. However, the effect of AEDs for in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) remains uncertain. This study aims to describe the distribution and use of AEDs in Danish hospitals and investigate whether early rhythm analysis is associated with return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC).

METHODS: All Danish public hospitals with a cardiac arrest team were included and sent a questionnaire on the in-hospital distribution of AEDs and manual defibrillators. Further, we collected data on IHCAs including rhythm analysis, device type, cardiac arrest team arrival, and ROSC from the national database on IHCA (DANARREST).

RESULTS: Of 46 hospitals, 93% had AEDs and 93% had manual defibrillators. AEDs were often placed in wards or non-clinical areas, whereas manual defibrillators were often placed in areas with high-risk patients. We identified 3,204 IHCAs. AEDs were used in 13% of IHCAs. After adjustment for confounders, chance of ROSC was higher if the first rhythm analysis was performed before the arrival of the cardiac arrest team (RR: 1.28 (95% CI: 1.12-1.46)). The relative risk of ROSC was 1.09 (0.84-1.41) when analyzing with an AED before cardiac arrest team arrival and 1.19 (1.00-1.41) when using a manual defibrillator. However, there was no significant effect modification for AED vs manual defibrillator (p = 0.26).

CONCLUSION: AEDs are widely distributed in Danish hospitals but less commonly used for IHCAs compared to manual defibrillators. Rhythm analysis before arrival of the cardiac arrest team was associated with ROSC without significant effect modification of device type.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100211
JournalResuscitation Plus
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Author(s).

    Research areas

  • Automated external defibrillator, Defibrillation, In-hospital cardiac arrest, Return of spontaneous circulation

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