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Sudden, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) has an annual incidence of approximately 50 per 100,000 population. Public access defibrillation is seen as one of the key strategies in the chain-of-survival for OHCA. Positioning of these devices is important for the maximization of public health outcomes. The literature strongly advocates widespread public access to automated external defibrillatiors (AEDs). The most efficient placement of AEDs within individual communities remains unclear.
A retrospective case review of OHCAs attended by the South Australia Ambulance Service in metropolitan and rural South Australia over a 30-month period was performed. Data were analyzed using Utstein-type indicators. Detailed demographics, summative data, and clinical data were recorded.
A total of 1,305 cases of cardiac arrest were reviewed. The annual rate of OHCA was 35 per 100,000 population. Of the cases, the mean value for the ages was 66.3 years, 517 (39.6%) were transported to hospital, 761 (58.3%) were judged by the paramedic to be cardiac, and 838 (64.2%) were witnessed. Bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was performed in 495 (37.9%) of cases. The rhythm on arrival was ventricular fibrillation (VF) or ventricular tachycardia (VT) in 419 (32.1%) cases, and 315 (24.1%) of all arrests had return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) before or on arrival at the hospital. For cardiac arrest cases that were witnessed by the ambulance service (n = 121), the incidence of ROSC was 47.1%.
During the 30-month period, there only was one location that recorded more than one cardiac arrest. No other location recorded recurrent episodes.
This study did not identify any specific location that would justify defibrillator placement over any other location without an existing defibrillator. The impact of bystander CPR and the relatively low rate of bystander CPR in this study points to an area of need. The relative potential impact of increasing bystander CPR rates versus investing in defibrillators in the community is worthy of further consideration.
Public safety at mass gatherings is the responsibility of multi-ple agencies. Injury surveillance and inter-agency communication are pivotal to ensure continued public safety.
The principal objective of this pilot study was to improve the identification of trends and patterns of injury presentations at mass gather-ings. This was achieved through an electronic process for data gathering to support timely reporting of injury data. In addition, what evolved was the devel-opment of an inter-agency communication model to support information transfer.
An Electronic Injury Surveillance System was created and piloted at two mass gatherings in South Australia. Live, real-time data were collect-ed via customized software supported by electronic report generation.
The Injury Surveillance System captured data on 181 injured patients and assisted in the identification of trends and patterns of presenta-tions. The relevant injuries and patterns of injuries were reported to the appropriate organizations based on pre-defined communication models.
The pilot study demonstrated that it was possible to perform “live”, portable injury surveillance during patient presentations at two mass gatherings. The Injury Surveillance System ensured immediate data capture. Well-defined communication systems established for this pilot also enabled early action to rectify hazards. Further development of electronic injury sur-veillance should be considered as an essential tool for managing public safety at mass gatherings.
Mass-gathering events are dynamic and challenge traditional medical management systems. To improve the system for the provision of first aid at mass-gathering events, an evaluation of two models that assist in forecasting the number of patients presenting for first-aid services was conducted.
A prospective evaluation of a recurrent, mass-gathering event was undertaken comparing predicted patient presentations and ambulance transfers generated by a predictive model developed by Arbon et al and a retrospective review of seven years of historical, event data as described by Zeitz et al.
Patient presentation rate (per 1,000 patrons) for this event was 1.6 and the transport to hospital rate (per 1,000 patrons) was 0.07. The retrospective review closely predicted the actual overall attendance.Both methods forecast the number of patients presenting on a daily basis. The prediction proved to be more accurate, on a day-by-day basis, using the Zeitz method.
The Arbon method is particularly useful for events where there is no or limited information about previous medical work. Retrospective review of data generated from specific events (Zeitz method) considers the unique and individual variability that can occur from event to event and is more accurate at predicting patient presentations when the data are available. Both methods have the potential to be used more frequently to adequately and efficiently plan for the resources required for specific events.
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