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Invited Commentary
May 2017

Cardiac Arrest in Any Location: The Need for Fewer Bystanders and More Layperson Rescuers

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
JAMA Cardiol. 2017;2(5):514-515. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2017.0040

Location is a critical variable in surviving cardiac arrest because it determines the likelihood of help by trained, willing layperson rescuers. Immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is essential for preventing organ deterioration while waiting for definitive therapy to reverse the cardiac arrest. Patients who collapse in public places are witnessed by more people, are much more likely to get expeditious CPR, and are more rapidly treated with an automated external defibrillator (AED). An AED can immediately reverse some cardiac arrests caused by tachydysrhythmias. When nobody witnesses a patient collapse or when nobody near the patient is trained and willing to act, CPR or therapy may not begin for many minutes. Consequently, patients who collapse in private residences are disadvantaged and have lower survival compared with patients in public places.

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