Researchers at the University of Iowa and University of Michigan evaluated the value -- in terms of saving lives and the necessary costs to rescue people with cardiac arrest -- of installing defibrillators in various public locations. The team found that a defibrillator was a good investment if the specific location was expected to have at least one cardiac arrest every seven years, a slight extension of current American Heart Association guidelines. The findings, based on a comprehensive review of existing studies and data on defibrillator placements in the Seattle, Wash. area, appear in the September issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
The study also found that locations such as large retail stores (1 in 2,000 annual probability of being used) and hotels (1 in 100 annual probability) apparently are not cost-effective candidates for defibrillator placement.
"Our conclusions support the American Heart Association recommendation that defibrillators should be placed in public locations where there is a one in five chance that the defibrillator will be used in a given year to treat a person with cardiac arrest," said Peter Cram, M.D., UI assistant professor of internal medicine and the study's principal investigator. "However, defibrillators also are being placed in a number of low-risk public locations where the money might be better to spent in other ways, such as improving the existing EMS program."
A. Mark Fendrick, M.D., professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan and the study's senior author, identified the three crucial factors that should drive wh
Contact: Becky Sogln
University of Iowa