Monday, 21 November 2011

Study Shows Defibrillators are Easy for Ship's Crew to Use

A study called 'implementation of automated external defibrillators on merchant ships' published in the Journal of Travel Medicine has looked into the ability of ship's officers to successfully deliver an effective defibrillation shock.

Here is a copy of the abstract from the study:
Background. In contrast to cruise ships, ferries and merchant ships are rarely equipped with automated external defibrillators (AEDs). Germany is the first flag state worldwide that legally requires to carry AEDs on seagoing merchant vessels by September 2012 at the latest.

Objectives. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of training ship officers in the handling of AEDs and to explore their perceptions concerning the user-friendliness of currently available defibrillators.

Methods. Using four different AEDs, 130 nautical officers performed a total of 400 resuscitation drills. One group (n = 60) used only one device before and after resuscitation training; the other group (n = 70) used all four AEDs in comparison after training. The officers' performances were timed and they were asked by questionnaire about the user-friendliness of each AED.

Results. Without resuscitation training, 81.7% of the first mentioned group delivered an effective defibrillation shock. After a 7-hour resuscitation training with special regard to defibrillation, all ship officers (n = 130) used the AED correctly. Among all AEDs, the mean time until start of analysis decreased from 72.4 seconds before to 60.4 seconds after resuscitation training (Wilcoxon test; p < 0.001). The results of the questionnaire and the differences in time to first shock indicated a different user-friendliness of the AEDs. The voice prompts and the screen messages of all AEDs were well understood by all participants. In the second mentioned group, 57.1% regarded feedback information related to depths and frequency of thorax compression as helpful.

Lifeforce Marine AED

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the world’s biggest killer, killing over 3 million people worldwide every year. Even on land the chances of the emergency services reaching a victim in time are slim, at sea the chances are zero.

The only proven way to treat SCA is by delivering an electric shock to the heart to restore a normal heart rhythm. This is called defibrillation and can make the difference between saving a life and having a victim die. If a victim receives defibrillation within the vital first 3 minutes the chances of survival are increased by up to a staggering 70%.

The Lifeforce Marine AED is the easiest to use defibrillator on the market and is the only defibrillator tested and Type Approved for use in the hostile marine environment.

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