The first large-scale study to see whether trained volunteers and lay people can use defibrillators to save the lives of cardiac arrest (CA) victims has concluded that their use by lay people is safe, and if the response time can be shortened to within eight minutes there is the potential to save the lives of 15 out of 100 people who collapse suddenly with CA.
Brescia in Italy – a large mixed rural and urban county with an area of more than 4,800 square kilometres and a population of well over a million – was the site for the Brescia Early Defibrillation Study (BEDS), the results of which are reported (Thursday 1 December) in the European Society of Cardiologys journal European Heart Journal.
Dr Riccardo Cappato from Policlinico San Donato, University of Milan, and colleagues from the University of Brescia and the University of Washington in Seattle, USA, initiated BEDS after Italy passed a law allowing the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) by non-medical personnel.
Margaret Willson | EurekAlert!
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