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November 22, 2011
Study: Too few police cruisers have AEDs
By EMS1 Staff
ORLANDO — Authors of a University of Pennsylvania study said that police aren't equipping enough patrol cars with life-saving automated external defibrillators.
The study found that although most state police train officers to use AEDs and perform CPR — 78 percent and 98 percent of the agencies surveyed — only a third actually equip their vehicles with AEDS, according to a press release, and "those that do provide AEDs only equip a minority of their fleet."
The agencies that do have AED programs in place set an important precedent, the authors said, since police must sometimes act as first responders while on patrol. Despite findings that the $1,000 units aren't utilized often, increasing AED deployment among state police would save more lives, they said.
"Putting AEDs into more state police cruisers could provide a significant safety net for people who suffer cardiac arrest on our nation's highways," senior author Benjamin Abella, MD, said.
As part of the study, 46 of the nation's 50 state police agencies completed an online survey about AED use. View the abstract here.