Hong Kong Med J 2003;9:113-8 | Number 2, April 2003
Is public access defibrillation needed in Hong Kong?
CB Lo, TW Wong, KK Lai
Accident and Emergency Department, North District Hospital, 9 Po Kin Road, Sheung Shui, Hong Kong
The survival rate for non-traumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Hong Kong is low (1.25%-1.6%). Despite the reduced time interval between call receipt and first defibrillatory shock to 11.12 minutes during the past decade, the time interval between collapse/recognition and first defibrillatory shock, at 14.25 minutes, is too long. Studies of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest performed in Hong Kong were reviewed to ascertain whether a public access defibrillation programme can improve survival in Hong Kong. Three delays were found in the traditional response by emergency medical service, namely in the collapse/recognise-to-call receipt, call receipt-to-vehicle stops, and vehicle stops-to-first defibrillatory shock time intervals. The first delay is related to public education, while the second and third delays are intrinsic to a dispatched response. A public access defibrillation programme employing responders at scenes of cardiac arrests can eliminate the collapse/ recognise-to-call receipt and call receipt-to-vehicle stops time intervals before defibrillation. Possible sites of public access defibrillation could include the airport and other immigration points, which have a high volume of people passing through, with projected figures for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest at these sites supporting this consideration. For successful implementation of public access defibrillation, a comprehensive educational programme and coordination with the emergency medical service are required.
Key words: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation; Electric countershock; Emergency medical services; Heart arrest; Hong Kong
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