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Medical News and Perspectives
December 24/31, 2003

Researchers Seek Resuscitative Edge for Improving Cardiac Arrest Survival

JAMA. 2003;290(24):3181-3183. doi:10.1001/jama.290.24.3181

Orlando, Fla—Time is a precious commodity for a person experiencing cardiac arrest.

In the majority of cases, cardiac arrest is caused by ventricular fibrillation, and survivability drops up to 10% for every minute that elapses until a normal heart rhythm is reestablished—which usually requires defibrillation.

With the overall survival rate in the United States for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest at around 5%, emergency medicine researchers are hopeful that automated external defibrillators (AEDs) can improve outcomes for a condition claiming hundreds of lives daily. The thinking behind AEDs as a means of boosting survival is that they can be placed throughout the community and be used quickly by lay persons.

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