Ireland moves to promote AED access, but falls short of full passer-by use
This article was originally published in Clinica
Ireland has today published guidelines on providing external defibrillation in the community setting. The initiative marks a significant development in supporting passer-by use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), but falls short of encouraging the widest possible emergency access to the technology. The Cardiac First Responder Guide, published by the Health Service Executive, is targeted at community organisations seeking to establish first responder awareness and training programmes. As such, the initiative is to be welcomed for encouraging the wider installation of AEDs, but effectively hinders access at locations where teams are not established. Ireland records some 5,000 sudden cardiac deaths (SCDs) per year. Internationally, campaigners seeking to overcome legal barriers to full (non-medical) passer-by AED use have highlighted the simple and failsafe use of the device.