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Researchers plot locations where AEDs could save more lives
Date:5/2/2013

TORONTO, May 2, 2013Prompt use of an automated external defibrillator, or AED, can greatly increase the survival rates of people who suffer a cardiac arrest.

Yet a new study has found that publicly registered AEDs in Toronto are not in the best positions 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."

Researchers at the University of Toronto and St. Michael's Hospital have developed a new mathematical formula to optimize the placement of costly AEDs in areas where they could do the most good. Their results were published in the journal Circulation.

Timothy Chan, an engineering professor at the U of T's Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, 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.

He 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 Professor Chan, who worked on the study with Dr. Laurie Morrison of St. Michael's Hospital. Almost half of all downtown cardiac arrests were near an existing AED compared to o
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Contact: Leslie Shepherd
shepherdl@smh.ca
416-864-6094
St. Michael's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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