Sudden cardiac arrest? Can't find an AED? There may be an app for that

November 7, 2015, American Heart Association
Credit: American Heart Association

The earlier bystanders can deliver shocks with an automated external defibrillator (AED) to people who have cardiac arrest outside the hospital, the better their chances are for survival. Although it may be difficult to find community-based AEDs, a new smartphone application helps connect rescuers with lifesaving AEDs and victims with sudden cardiac arrest, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2015.

Japanese researchers developed the app, called AED-SOS, which signals potential co-rescuers in communities when an out-of-hospital has occurred and where. Co-rescuers then deliver the needed AEDs to the scene. Researchers tested whether the app can shorten the process of finding and delivering AEDs by studying participants who were assigned to either an AED-SOS group or a group without the app. Both groups participated in scenarios involving mock out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.

Researchers found that among the 52 people they analyzed, the time from recognition of the out-of-hospital cardiac arrest to AED delivery was an average 133.6 seconds in the AED-SOS group, versus 202.2 seconds in the group without the app.

Shortening the time bystanders recognize out-of-hospital cardiac arrest to when they deliver shocks with AEDs could increase survival, researchers said.

Explore further: Efforts to improve AED usage increase bystander defibrillation in public but not at home

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