A 2-Tiered Approach to In-Hospital Defibrillation Nurses Respond to a Trial of Using Automated External Defibrillators as Part of a Code-Team Protocol

Kyller, Michael; Johnstone, Donald
August 2005
Critical Care Nurse;Aug2005, Vol. 25 Issue 4, p25
Academic Journal
This article discusses the initiation of a 2-tiered defibrillation response in order to identify the importance of early defibrillation in cardiac arrest and describe its limitation. A survey was completed at Boston Medical Center to gather data on the attitudes of nurses in non-critical care areas toward using automated external defibrillators (AED) to complement a traditional response by a code team that used manual defibrillators. Overall, the nurses recommended the use of AED in non-critical care areas. At the end of the study, the responding nurses concluded that the AED were easily accessible, simple to use, and allowed patients to receive defibrillation more quickly than before. Only 3 of the 26 patients who had an AED applied had ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation that required defibrillation. More study is needed to look at specific outcomes for patients according to accurate response times and time to first defibrillation. The nurses had a positive attitude toward use of AED as part of a 2-tiered code-response system in the hospital. Critical care nurses will continue to see AED and must be aware of how the devices work and how they fit into hospital response protocols.


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