In this single institution before-after study, survival did not improve after the switch from standard monophasic external defibrillators to biphasic AED’s. Time to first shock was no different between the 2 groups, nor was survival to discharge in those with Vtach or Vfib. Those with asystole or PEA actually had lower survival after initiation of AED’s (15% survival for AED’s versus 23% survival for standard defibrillators). This suggests that, in settings where rhythms are likely to be unresponsive to defibrillation (such as in-hospital setting), AED’s are unlikely to improve survival above that offered by standard external defibrillators (abstract).
Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.