September 4, 2001
Seniors can use automated external defibrillators (AEDs) successfully, according to a new study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. Moreover, there is no clinically meaningful difference in performance whether seniors are trained through one-on-one instruction or through video-based self-instruction. However, long-term skill retention is a concern: one in four study subjects was unable to deliver a shock three months after training.
The study is important since it has implications for the placement of AEDs in the home, where sudden cardiac arrest occurs most often.
Reference: Meischke HW, Rea T, Eisenberg ME, Schaeffer SM, Kudenchuk P. Training seniors in the operation of an automated external defibrillator: a randomized trial comparing two training methods. Ann Emerg Med. September 2001;38:216-22.
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