Prehospital and Disaster Medicine

Original Research

A Poor Association Between Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Location and Public Automated External Defibrillator Placement

Matthew J. Levya1a2a3 c1, Kevin G. Seamana2, Michael G. Millina1, Richard A. Bissella3 and J. Lee Jenkinsa1

a1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland USA

a2 Howard County Fire and Rescue, Columbia, Maryland USA

a3 Department of Emergency Health Services, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland USA


Introduction Much attention has been given to the strategic placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs). The purpose of this study was to examine the correlation of strategically placed AEDs and the actual location of cardiac arrests.

Methods A retrospective review of data maintained by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS), specifically, the Maryland Cardiac Arrest Database and the Maryland AED Registry, was conducted. Location types for AEDs were compared with the locations of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in Howard County, Maryland. The respective locations were compared using scatter diagrams and r2 statistics.

Results The r2 statistics for AED location compared with witnessed cardiac arrest and total cardiac arrests were 0.054 and 0.051 respectively, indicating a weak relationship between the two variables in each case. No AEDs were registered in the three most frequently occurring locations for cardiac arrests (private homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities) and no cardiac arrests occurred at the locations where AEDs were most commonly placed (community pools, nongovernment public buildings, schools/educational facilities).

Conclusion A poor association exists between the location of cardiac arrests and the location of AEDs.

MJ Levy, KG Seaman, MG Millin, RA Bissell, JL Jenkins. A poor association between out-of-hospital cardiac arrest location and public automated external defibrillator placement. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(4):1-6 .

(Received November 19 2012)

(Revised March 08 2013)

(Accepted March 10 2013)

(Online publication May 23 2013)


  • automated external defibrillator;
  • out-of-hospital cardiac arrest;
  • public access defibrillation;
  • Sudden cardiac death


  • AED:automated external defibrillator;
  • AHA:American Heart Association;
  • ALS:Advanced Life Support;
  • BLS:Basic Life Support;
  • CPR:cardiopulmonary resuscitation;
  • EMS:Emergency Medical Services;
  • HCFR:Howard County Fire and Rescue;
  • MIEMSS:Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems;
  • OOHCA:out-of-hospital cardiac arrest;
  • PAD:public access defibrillator;
  • SCA:sudden cardiac arrest;
  • VF:ventricular fibrillation;
  • VT:ventricular tachycardia


c1 Correspondence: Matthew J. Levy, DO, MSc Department of Emergency Medicine Johns Hopkins University Davis Building, Suite 3220 5801 Smith Avenue Baltimore, Maryland 21209 USA E-mail


  Conflicts of Interest and Funding:: none