Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Early defibrillation in out-of-hospital sudden cardiac death: an Australian experience.
  1. I A Scott,
  2. G J Fitzgerald
  1. Ipswich General Hospital, Queensland, Australia.


    All patients with primary cardiac disease presenting with out-of-hospital sudden cardiac death (OH-SCD) to a provincial hospital were reviewed retrospectively over a 5-year period from 1985 to 1989. This coincided with the introduction of out-of-hospital defibrillation (OH-DEFIB) by ambulance officers. Of 215 patients, 17 (9%) survived to leave hospital alive, 15 of whom underwent OH-DEFIB. There was an increase in survivors from 4%, prior to OH-DEFIB, to 9% of all cardiac arrests, but this was not statistically significant (P = 0.3). However, long term survival amongst immediate survivors was associated with a statistically significant improvement following the introduction of OH-DEFIB (15 of 30 (50%) vs. 2 of 19 (10.5%), P < 0.01). Mean call-out, at-scene and transfer times did not significantly vary between survivors and non-survivors. A total of 155 (72%) had a known cardiac history, with the majority (74%) of arrests occurring at home. Of 134 witnessed arrests, only 46 (34%) underwent bystander-initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). A programme in CPR aimed at relatives of known cardiac patients, and the adoption of a paramedic protocol which improves oxygenation at the time of arrest are recommended.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.