Date of Award

Spring 4-5-2004

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Terry Lewis

Second Advisor

Dawn B. Ludwig


Background For patients in cardiac arrest the most important variable in survival is rapid activation of emergency medical services to provide early defibrillation. Previous studies have indicated that for the greatest chance of survival the patient must be defibrillated within six minutes of collapse. In September of 2002 the Fairmont police department placed AED's in the medical kits of their officers in an effort to improve the chances of survival for the cardiac arrest patients in the city. This study is an attempt to gauge the success of this AED program by Iooking at multiple variables in the care of cardiac arrest patients. Methods A retrospective chart review study was undertaken and data was captured from patient care documents. An equal number of cardiac arrests (18) were taken from before and after the AED program was initiated for a total of 36 patients in the study. Results Statistical significant was found in the time from 911 dispatch to defibrillator placement and analysis,3.4 min in the pre-AED group vs. 5.2 min in the post AED group (P=0.03). No significance was found in patient outcomes in comparison to the pre-AED period Discussion Although there was no change in the patient outcomes after the AED program was initiated, a closer look at the data shows that a decrease in the amount of time it took to get to the patients side was accomplished, given more time and data points, it is possible that an increase in patient survival might be seen. Focus for the next study would be an attempt to decrease the time from collapse to patient defibrillation.


SC 11.PAS.2004.Olson.MD