MAR 26, 2017 2:02 PM PDT

Coffee Shops and ATMs Are the Best Places for AEDs

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker

Unlike other heart complications, cardiac arrest patients can be treated just as well by whoever is closest to the situation, regardless of their medical training status. Instead of waiting for an ambulance to arrive when someone goes into cardiac arrest, an upstanding citizen at the scene could help, but only if an AED is nearby.

Credit: Sun & Chan/U of T Engineering

An AED, or an automated external defibrillator, is a portable device that supplies an electric shock to the heart to restore its normal, healthy rhythm. This is vital, because cardiac arrest means the heart has suddenly stopped pumping.

Cardiac arrest can lead to death in a matter of minutes. As each minute goes by after a person goes into cardiac arrest, their chance of survival decreases by ten percent. A person in cardiac arrest stops breathing and becomes unresponsive. For more on the cardiac arrest and how it is different from a heart attack, click here.

With the intention of identifying the locations where AEDs would be the most valuable, Toronto researchers compiled a list of businesses in the city with at least 20 locations. Next, they calculated the number of cardiac arrests that had occurred with 100 meters of each location during each individual business’s operating hours. With that calculation, they assigned each location with a value they called the “spatiotemporal cardiac arrest coverage,” and with the group of values they created a “Top 10” list of best AED spots.

Among the top 10 were ATMs and coffee shops. “ATMs, as opposed to the more traditional businesses, are often standalone or outdoors, and are often available 24/7,” explained professor Christopher Sun, one of the study’s leaders. “They're also universally recognizable and already have an electronic and security infrastructure.”

Sun and the study’s second leader, professor Timothy Chan, hope that their findings will encourage health organizations, foundations, and policymakers to consider their findings when developing public access defibrillator programs. Chan also has research underway studying the potential of other ways to gain access to AEDs, including AED-delivering drones.

“Finding out the best placements for AEDs is so important," said Sun. "We have the opportunity to save lives based on our level of preparation and organization."

Sun’s study was recently published in the journal Circulation.


Sources: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering

About the Author
  • I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
You May Also Like
MAR 21, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Deciphering How Some Environmental Influences Affect Development
MAR 21, 2021
Deciphering How Some Environmental Influences Affect Development
We know that there are certain substances that can harm a developing fetus, like alcohol or lead. Some health conditions ...
MAR 24, 2021
Cancer
What toxic chemicals are lurking in your couch?
MAR 24, 2021
What toxic chemicals are lurking in your couch?
New research published in the journal Environment International suggests a weekend trip to the nearest furniture st ...
MAR 30, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Common Alzheimer's Drugs Reduce Mortality Rate and Cognitive Decline
MAR 30, 2021
Common Alzheimer's Drugs Reduce Mortality Rate and Cognitive Decline
Researchers from the Karolinska Institute and Umea University in Sweden have found that a commonly recommended group of ...
APR 05, 2021
Neuroscience
Could a Keto Diet Treat Alzheimer's Disease?
APR 05, 2021
Could a Keto Diet Treat Alzheimer's Disease?
  Researchers from Brigham Young University have found evidence that eating a ketogenic diet- which is a diet that ...
APR 06, 2021
Cardiology
In 2020, Deaths in the US Were Over 20% Higher Than Typical Years
APR 06, 2021
In 2020, Deaths in the US Were Over 20% Higher Than Typical Years
Researchers have begun to analyze the impact of the pandemic, and their work has shown that long COVID-19 surges in the ...
APR 12, 2021
Microbiology
New Lyme Test Can ID The DIsease Early
APR 12, 2021
New Lyme Test Can ID The DIsease Early
Lyme disease is a disease that is caused by four main species of bacteria, including Borrelia burgdorferi, which ar ...
Loading Comments...