A recently published study from Italy* has clearly shown, despite small victim numbers, an alarming discrepancy between survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in sports centres with and without an automated external defibrillator (AED).
During an 18-year period, data regarding exercise-related SCA in sports centres were prospectively collected. Survival rates and time to response were compared between centres with an AED already available and centres where an AED was not already present. Neurologically intact survival rates were 93% in centres with on-site AED and only 9% in centres without.
CPR is still vital to keep the brain from damage while the heart isn’t pumping independently, but the timely presence of an AED can make all the difference. Continuous efforts should be made in order to introduce AEDs in sports and fitness centres, implement educational programmes and increase common awareness about SCA.
An AED is something we hope will never be needed but when it is, it’s a LIFE SAVER.
If you attend a sports club or centre find out if they have an AED and how well it is signposted. If they haven’t got one, get working on it!! Please.
* Aschieri D, Penela D, Pelizzoni V, et al
Outcomes after sudden cardiac arrest in sports centres with and without on-site external defibrillators Heart 2018;104:1344-1349.