Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is a global public health concern that affects ≈3.8 million individuals each year. Only 8% to 12% live to be discharged from the hospital. Although early defibrillation of shockable rhythms is associated with enhanced survival, securing timely access to defibrillators has proven difficult. Too far, the principal technique for addressing the concern had been establishing public-access defibrillation programs, which involved the placement of automated external defibrillators in public places. Public-access defibrillator programs have been linked to improved outcomes for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest; nevertheless, the devices are only used in <3% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest occurrences. Therefore, the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation commissioned this scientific statement with three goals in mind: highlight recognized challenges to public-access defibrillator use and early defibrillation, explain existing and creative solutions for overcoming those barriers, and identify high-priority knowledge gaps for future study. To inform the statement, the writing group conducted comprehensive literature searches.
Improved public outreach, behavior change approaches, optimization of static public-access defibrillator deployment and housing, evolved automated external defibrillator technology and functionality, improved integration of public-access defibrillation with existing emergency dispatch protocols, and exploration of novel automated external defibrillator delivery vectors was identified as innovative strategies. Researchers offered evidence- and consensus-based policy recommendations to improve public-access defibrillation and recommendations for future study in the field.