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Study shows importance of AEDs in schools

A US study published in Circulation [1] demonstrates that school based automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) provide high survival rates for both students and non students suffering sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) on school premises.

Commenting on the study, Professor Josep Brugada, spokesperson of the European Society of Cardiology, said: “Sudden cardiac death in a young population is a dramatic situation that can be beaten if appropriate preparation has been done. Providing high schools with external automatic defibrillators and appropriate training has proven to be tremendously effective in saving an important number of lives. The extremely high rate of survival in this setting shows that a lot can be done to beat sudden death.”

The survey, he added, underlines the importance of the “BEAT IT!” campaign, launched by the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) of the ESC and the Lion’s Club International at the EUROPACE 2009 Congress in Berlin, Germany, (21-24 June). “Beat It!” aims to cut the incidence of sudden cardiac death by public education and the greater availability of portable electronic defibrillators able to diagnose and treat the potentially life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. “It is the hope that through these activities thousands of additional lives can be saved each year,” said Professor Dietrich Andresen, who was the local host of EUROPACE 2009.


  1. Effectiveness of Emergency Response Planning for Sudden Cardiac Arrest in United States High Schools with Automated Defibrillators. J Drezner, A Rao, J Heistand et al. Circulation. 2009;120:000-000.

Published on: July 28, 2009

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