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Researchers determine where best to place defibrillators
Date:5/2/2013

TORONTO: Prompt use of an automated external defibrillator, or AED, can greatly increase the survival rates of people who suffer a cardiac arrest. And MIE Professor Tim Chan, working with Dr. Laurie Morrison at St. Michael's Hospital, has developed a formula to determine where best to place these costly but life-saving devices.

In a paper published in Circulation, Chan and Morrison note that publicly registered AEDs in Toronto are not in the best locations to help victims of cardiac arrest. In fact, less than one in four of all cardiac arrests had an AED close by (within 100 metres is the required distance). The average distance to the nearest AED was closer to 300 meters.

Current guidelines suggest areas associated with the highest risk of cardiac arrest should be targeted for AED deployment, after they have been placed in obvious high-traffic areas such as transportation hubs or major sports venues. But it's not clear how to identify these "cardiac hot spots."

Timothy Chan and Morrison looked at the locations of all 1,310 public cardiac arrests in Toronto between December 2005 and July 2010 and the locations of all 1,699 AEDS registered with Toronto Emergency Medical Services.

They found that 304 cardiac arrests occurred within 100 metres of at least one AED (23 per cent).One hundred metres was chosen as the yardstick because it's the approximate distance a bystander could transport an AED in a 1.5-minute walkthe maximum recommended by the American Heart Association.

There were almost three times as many public cardiac arrests in downtown Toronto as the rest of the city 3.5 per square kilometer per year vs. 0.4 said Chan. Almost half of all downtown cardiac arrests were near an existing AED compared to only 17 per cent those outside of downtown.

Chan then looked at the 1,006 cardiac arrests that did not take place near an AED. He said that be placing AEDs in the top 30 cardiac arrest "hot spots,"
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Contact: Terry Lavender
terry.lavender@utoronto.ca
416-978-4498
University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
Source:Eurekalert

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