Public access defibrillation programs: The role of the automated external defibrillator

Caitlin E. Hoffman, John Marenco, Paul J. Wang, Mark S. Link, Munther K. Homoud, N. A Mark Estes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Sudden cardiac death occurs with great frequency, and the treatment of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest continues to evolve. Although early initiation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation remains essential, early defibrillation has been shown to be the most important determinant of survival. The development of the automated external defibrillator (AED), a portable, lightweight, accurate, and easy-to-use defibrillator, is revolutionizing the approach to prehospital care by extending the role of delivering defibrillation to layperson first-responders. The American Heart Association is promoting public access defibrillation programs in which laypersons, including police, firefighters, security guards, and flight attendants use AEDs in an effort to reduce time to defibrillation. The authors review current AED technology, examine the data on AED accuracy, review the clinical experience of AED public access defibrillation programs, and explore the future role of the AED in the effort to improve survival from sudden cardiac arrest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-291
Number of pages6
JournalCardiovascular Reviews and Reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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