AED applied, not recommending defibrillation - A validation study of the new variable AED in the Danish Cardiac Arrest Registry

Eleonora Casarini, Signe Amalie Wolthers*, Kristian Bundgaard Ringgren, Stig Nikolaj Fasmer Blomberg, Helle Collatz Christensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Aim: This study aimed to design and implement a new variable, the automated external defibrillator (AED) variable, within the Danish Cardiac Arrest Registry. The introduction of the new variable aims to investigate and solve the challenges of reporting out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. Methods: This validation study examined all patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest from 2016 to 2019. Their medical records were reviewed to establish a variable for AED. All patients with an AED applied were included, and comparative analyses were carried out. The primary outcome was 30-day survival, and the secondary outcome was the return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) at any time. Results: A total of 1576 cases were included; of those, 747 cases had an AED applied and received a shock, and in 829 cases, an AED was applied without delivering a shock. Most defibrillated patients were witnessed by bystanders n = 541, (72%). They presented a higher number of ROSC (57%) and higher 30-day survival, (35,2%) compared to patients who were not defibrillated. Of this group, only 47% patients were witnessed; 18% survived more than 30 days, p < 0.001. When comparing AED present with no AED present, the AED group were significantly more likely to be witnessed by bystanders and to have cardiopulmonary resuscitation by bystanders. No significant differences were found regarding the initial rhythm between the two groups. 30-day survival rate was 20% in the AED group compared to 14% in the non-AED group, yielding an OR of 1.14 (95% CI 1.20–1.66). Conclusion: This study highlights the differences between OHCA patients receiving defibrillation and those not receiving defibrillation after AED placement. These differences emphasise the need for uniform reporting of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. This study showed improvement in the completeness of the registration of OHCA by implementing the AED variable. However, a future effort to improve registration completeness is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109725
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier B.V.


  • AED
  • Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest
  • ROSC
  • Survival
  • Utstein Style


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