It has been announced that Canada’s Peel District School Board will be installing defibrillators across its elementary and secondary school sites. The defibrillators have been donated by the Mikey Foundation, in partnership with Philips Healthcare.
This is just one example of the growing use of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in public-use defibrillation programs. Similar programs include Project Heart Beat in San Diego, which led to 550 AEDs being implemented throughout the county by January 2013. The increase in AEDs is driven by research showing that early intervention in sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can increase the patients chances of survival. The use of defibrillators is also beneficial to healthcare systems, as it reduces the burden of the patient on the hospital and paramedics who, without public-access defibrillation, are solely responsible for victims of SCA. As a result, IHS have predicted that the AED market will exceed the market for manual external defibrillators, typically used in the clinical setting, by $45.3 million by 2017.
Expansion of AED programmes is also seen in emerging markets, including Turkey and Taiwan, from both governments and private parties, as the importance of early intervention in SCA is realised. In emerging markets, the increasing burden of cardiovascular disease is highlighting the need for a better standard of cardiac care. In mature markets, interest is being seen increasingly from the private market, where the private sector are choosing to provide AEDs within offices and public spaces.