Study shows “out-of-hours” cardiac arrest leads to considerably diminished access to community AEDs

A new study from New Zealand, just published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, has revealed that automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in the community are, alarmingly, not “actually that accessible”. The study found there were only three devices in Hamilton that were available 24/7. But not everybody has a cardiac arrest during working hours—9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday—and defibrillators should be “like fire-extinguishers, readily available and accessible at all times”, Martin Stiles (Hamilton, New Zealand) tells Cardiac Rhythm News.

Stiles was interviewed at Venice Arrhythmias (2–4 October 2019, Venice, Italy).

Stiles, Martin

Martin Stiles is an Associate Professor at The University of Auckland in New Zealand and Chairs the Fellowship International Scientific Document Writing sub-committee of the Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society.

Martin trained at the University of Otago and returned to Hamilton, New Zealand, after a year working at Dunedin Hospital. His initial training in Cardiology at Waikato Hospital was completed at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Training in Electrophysiology was continued at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester and at Green Lane Cardiovascular Service.

In 2005 he was awarded a New Zealand Heart Foundation Overseas Training Fellowship to commence a PhD on Atrial Fibrillation and Flutter at the University of Adelaide, before returning to Hamilton in 2008.

At Waikato Hospital and Midland Cardiovascular Services (located at Braemar Hospital) he established a programme of Atrial Fibrillation Ablation and, with the purchase of a 3D mapping system, advanced the service to include further complex radiofrequency ablation including treatment of Ventricular Tachycardia. Since 2012, cryoablation is also offered at these centres.

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