The results of a survey lasting 18-years have concluded that survival from SCA reached 93% in Sports and Fitness centers equipped with an AED.
With chances of survival against SCA decreasing with every passing minute; quick retrieval of an AED and immediate treatment can see a victim’s chances of survival increase from 7% to 93% if applied within the first 3-5 minutes of collapse combined with CPR. AEDs are becoming increasingly available to the public thanks to their ease of use and effectiveness of survival results when applied by a bystander; regardless of whether they have prior medical training or not.
Sudden Cardiac Arrests or SCA occur more in recreational sport centers in comparison to general public environments due to the increased stress sports can have on the heart; despite the high fitness levels of athletes, the stress on the heart from physical activity can trigger fatal arrhythmias and is three times more likely to occur in an athlete rather than non-athletes.
Progetto Vita (Project Life) an Italian organisation evaluated the positive impact an AED presence had in amateur sports centers across 252 establishments in the Piacenza region of Italy. The results of this research was collected over 18 years and compared resuscitation, survival rates and response times against centers with and without AED access.
A total of 207 (82%) amateur sports centers acquired an AED during the study period whereas 45 (18%) did not. During the 18 years, 26 sudden cardiac arrests occurred in amateur sport centers, of which 15 (58%) were in centers already equipped with an AED. Onsite AED use significantly reduced the time to first shock from 7.3 to 3.3 minutes (p=0.001). Neurologically intact survival was 93% for patients treated with an onsite AED compared to 9% without an AED.
Daniela Aschieri, MD, chief of Progetto Vita, said: “We also found the quicker the AED was used, the greater the chance of survival. Additionally, the probability of survival was higher when a member of the public used the AED rather than waiting for medical assistance.”
Whilst many sporting centers in the US have taken action to protect athletes training on the premises against SCA, many sporting facilities are still without the vital equipment to help increase chances of survival against a condition which affects more than 350,000 Americans yearly.
To increase the chance of survival of SCA in sports, the only proven solution is for more AEDs to be made readily available in these locations.
SOURCES: European Society of Cardiology