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Medical News & Perspectives
December 18, 2002

How Useful Are Automated External Defibrillators?

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JAMA. 2002;288(23):2952. doi:10.1001/jama.288.23.2952-JMN1218-2-1

In a perfect world, someone who collapses in a busy airport would receive immediate attention from a quick-thinking bystander who activates the emergency medical services (EMS) system and then grabs one of the automated external defibrillators (AEDs) placed throughout the airport. This bystander, perhaps, or a physician, or an untrained good samaritan, would use the device to apply electric shock to the individual's heart. The affected person would then convert to sinus rhythm and become stabilized just as an ambulance arrived.