More than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCAs) are reported annually in the United States. An estimated 70% to 90% of people experiencing OHCA die before reaching the hospital.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) within minutes of OHCA can dramatically raise survival rates but are not commonly used or available. A 2018 study reported AED use at 10.8% in public settings before emergency medical services (EMS) arrive.

To increase OHCA survival rates, public access defibrillation (PAD) programs can use interventions that ensure AEDs are immediately accessible when needed.

Expansive evidence supports the efficacy of structured PAD programs that:

  • Disseminate AEDs for rapid access by lay bystanders

  • Train potential AED users

  • Link to EMS

  • Conduct quality improvement to improve system response

The placement of AEDs at public locations where cardiac arrest is likely to occur (schools, casinos, federal buildings, airports, fitness centers, churches, and workplaces) has been found to:

  • Increase OHCA survival.

  • Increase rates of return of spontaneous circulation.

  • Improve neurological outcomes for patients.

Contact NDP to see how we can get you started with becoming a PAD site and help save a life!