Use of automated external defibrillators in patients with traumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

Chih Hao Lin, Wen Chu Chiang, Matthew Huei Ming Ma, Shyu Yu Wu, Ming Che Tsai, Chih Hsien Chi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Because out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCAs) due to a major trauma rarely present with shockable rhythms, the potential benefits of using automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at the scene of traumatic OHCAs have not been examined. Methods: We conducted an observational, retrospective cohort study using an Utstein-style analysis in Tainan city, Taiwan. The enrollees were adult patients with traumatic OHCAs accessed by emergency medical technicians (EMTs) from January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2010. The exposure was the use or non-use of AEDs at the scene, as determined by the clinical judgment of the EMTs. The primary outcome evaluated was a sustained (≥2. h) return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), and the secondary outcomes were prehospital ROSC, overall ROSC, survival to hospital admission, survival at one month and favorable neurologic status at one month. Results: A total of 424 patients (313 males) were enrolled, of whom 280 had AEDs applied, and 144 did not. Only 25 (5.9%) patients had received bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and merely 21 (7.5%) patients in the AED group presented with shockable rhythms. Compared to the non-AED group, the primary and secondary outcomes of the AED group were not significantly different, except for a significantly lower prehospital ROSC rate (1.1% vs 4.9%, p< 0.05). Multivariate analysis showed no significant interactions between the use of AEDs and other key variables. Use of the AED was not associated with sustained ROSC (OR 1.33; 95% CI 0.75-2.38, p= 0.33). Conclusions: In a community with a low prevalence of shockable rhythms and administration of bystander CPR in patients with traumatic OHCA, we found no significant differences in the sustained ROSC between the AED and the non-AED groups. Considering scene safety and the possible interruption of CPR, we do not encourage the routine use of AEDs at the scene of traumatic OHCAs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)586-591
Number of pages6
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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