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Evaluation of local use of semiautomatic external defibrillators

Ballesteros Peña S

Bilbao SAMUR-Protección Civil, Ayuntamiento de Bilbao, Parque de Bomberos de Miribilla, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Spain.

Objective: To evaluate a program to implement use of semiautomatic external
defibrillators in a local basic life support unit, including a description of patient
characteristics and the main factors leading to events that required out-of-hospital
resuscitation maneuvers.
Methods: Retrospective study analyzing cases of cardiac arrest in which the first
responders were from a local basic life support unit. Cases were those attended during
the first 4 years following the unit's acquisition of semiautomatic defibrillators. We
recorded epidemiologic variables and early survival after resuscitation; we them assessed
associations between failure to resuscitate and risk factors.
Results: In 105 cases of cardiac arrest the unit attempted 87 resuscitations;
cardiomyopathy was the presumed cause of the arrest in 88.5% of these cases in which
resuscitation was attempted. Resuscitation was attempted by a bystander only twice.
Ventricular fibrillation was found initially in 14.9% of the patients and was associated
with a lower risk of failure (odds ratio, 0.09; 95% CI, 0.02-0.23). In 10.3% of the events,
the patient was transported to a hospital after circulation had returned.
Conclusions: The basic life support unit's rate of successful cardiopulmonary
resuscitation is similar to that of advanced life support services in the same local
community. These success rates are low, however. Survival was higher in patients who
had ventricular fibrillation on initiation of resuscitation.

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