A study presented last week at the Heart Rhythm Society 2011 Scientific Sessions in San Francisco makes the case for putting automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in bowling alleys, dance studios, and other non-traditional exercise venues.
The study presented by Dr. Richard Page of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, based its recommendations on the success of AEDs at traditional exercise facilities such as gyms and fitness clubs.
Researchers looked at data on 150 sudden cardiac arrest incidents that took place at indoor recreation facilities, both traditional and non-traditional, over a 12-year period between 1996 and 2008. The sudden cardiac arrest survival rate was 50 percent at traditional exercise venues but only 36 percent at non-traditional venues. (The researchers noted that the data was collected in King County, Washington, which has one of the highest survival rates in the U.S. for witnessed, out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest because of widespread training in CPR and good availability of AEDs.)
An AED was used 16 percent of the time at SCA incidents in traditional gyms and exercise facilities. It was used only 7 percent of the time for SCA incidents in non-traditional facilities.
“When the heart can be restarted with an AED, a victim has not only a good chance of survival, but of living well afterwards,” Dr. Page said in a University of Wisconsin press release. “If you belong to a health club, or participate in activities at non-traditional exercise sites such as bowling alleys or dance studios, make sure there is an AED on site.”