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Resuscitation. 2008 Feb;76(2):226-32. Epub 2007 Sep 17.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation alone vs. cardiopulmonary resuscitation plus automated external defibrillator use by non-healthcare professionals: a meta-analysis on 1583 cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.


Institute of Cardiology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy. tomamaso.sanna@rm.unicatt.it



Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) accounts for 250.000-350.000 sudden cardiac deaths per year in the United States. The availability of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) promoted the implementation of public access defibrillation programs based on out-of-hospital early defibrillation by non-healthcare professionals.


To perform a systematic review and a meta-analysis of the pooled effect of studies comparing the outcome of pts receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation plus AED therapy (CPR+AED) vs. cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) alone, both delivered by non-healthcare professionals, for the treatment of OHCA.


We performed a search of the relevant literature exploring major scientific databases, carrying out a hand search of key journals, analysing conference proceedings and abstracts and discussing the topic with other researchers. Two analyses were planned to assess the outcomes of interest (survival to hospital admission and survival to hospital discharge).


Three studies were selected for the meta-analysis. The first meta-analysis evidenced a RR of 1.22 (95% C.I.: 1.04-1.43) of surviving to hospital admission for people treated with CPR+AED as compared to CPR-only. The second meta-analysis showed a RR of 1.39 (95% C.I.: 1.06-1.83) of surviving to hospital discharge for people treated with CPR+AED as compared to CPR-only.


The results of our meta-analysis demonstrate that programs based on CPR plus early defibrillation with AEDs by trained non-healthcare professionals offer a survival advantage over CPR-only in OHCA. The conclusions of our meta-analysis add to previous evidence in favour of developing public-health strategies based on AED use by trained layrescuers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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