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Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital Study Finds Use of Automated External Defibrillators in Children Safe and Effective

Jul. 25, 2003, 12:30 PM

A research study performed at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, proving the safety and effectiveness of using automated external defibrillators (AED’s) in children, has helped change American Heart Association guidelines. The study will be published in the August 2003 issue of Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Mary Fran Hazinski, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital injury prevention specialist and the lead author of the study, says the new research findings provided the body of evidence necessary for the AHA to finalize guidelines on the use of AED’s in infants and children. Thanks to the study, as of July 1st the AHA changed its recommendations to advise the use of AED’s in children over the age of one.

AED’s are simple-to-use devices designed to shock the heart into a normal rhythm if an accident, illness, or injury causes sudden cardiac arrest. Until now, people trained in CPR and AED use were advised not to use AED’s on children due to concerns over safety of the device.

The American Heart Association’s new recommendations advise first responders to begin CPR on children in cardiac arrest. After one minute of CPR the AED, if available, should be applied and discharged to reestablish an appropriate heart rhythm.

Media contact: Carole Bartoo, (615) 322-2706 carole.bartoo@vanderbilt.edu

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