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Public are unwilling to use available defibrillators, Dutch study finds

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d1033 (Published 15 February 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1033
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

Immediate defibrillation of people with cardiac arrest can save lives, but less than half the people passing through Amsterdam Central Station were willing to use publicly available automated external defibrillators, finds a new study.

The authors call for public education, because effective defibrillation requires fast action by the public, and knowledge is lacking. “Bystanders first of all need to have defibrillation in mind,” they write. In the United States and most of Europe (not, for instance, in France) lay people can use defibrillators without legal liability.

The researchers, from the Department of Anaesthesiology at VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam surveyed 1018 people at the city’s central railway station: 978 visitors or travellers …

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