University of
Washington School of Medicine

Aug. 25, 2000

UW coordinating national trial of public access defibrillation

The University of Washington is coordinating a two-year study in 24 cities in the United States and Canada to test the life-saving potential and cost effectiveness of public access defibrillation (PAD). The trial is under the direction of Al Hallstrom, professor of biostatistics in the UW School of Public Health and Community Medicine.

photo Alaska Airlines flight attendant automatic external defibrillator training, shown here demonstrating the "stay clear" signal before use of the AED. Photo by Doug Plummer.
Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in collaboration with the American Heart Association, researchers will train volunteers in the communities to recognize cardiac arrest, summon 911, and perform CPR. In half the communities, volunteers will learn to use automatic external defibrillators (AED) that have been placed in conspicuous locations. The AEDs will be available in residential apartments, shopping centers, senior centers, gated communities, office buildings and sports venues.

The study will measure the effectiveness of trained lay responders who treat sudden cardiac arrests using AEDs. The results will help communities across the country design public access defibrillation programs. The study chair is Joseph Ornato, chair of emergency medicine at the University of Virginia.

The Unites States study sites are Birmingham, Ala.; Chicago, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Mission Viejo, Calif.; New York City, Newark, N.J.; Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Ore.; Richmond, Va.; Seattle, Palm Springs, Calif.; Riverside, Calif.; Stony Brook, N.Y.; Syracuse, N.Y.; Virginia Beach, Va.; Vancouver, Wash.; Washington, D.C.; Salt Lake City, and Detroit. The Canadian sites are Calgary and Edmonton, both in Alberta.

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