The use of AEDs in hospitals is enticing since they are easy to use, and they have reduced out of hospital cardiac death. In this large analysis of the NRCPR database, 18% of patients had shockable rhythms, and 18% survived to hospital discharge. Of those with shockable rhythms, AED use did not reduce in-hospital mortality. And overall, the use of AEDs increased in-hospital mortality, due to an increased risk of mortality among patients with non-shockable rhythms. Use of AEDs in hospitals may not be beneficial, where the majority of arrests are not due to shockable rhythms, whereby AEDs may interfere with appropriate care (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.