Latinos less aware of automated external defibrillators

November 11, 2017

ANAHEIM, California, Nov. 11, 2017 -- Latinos are less likely to know what an automated external defibrillator (AED) is and who can use it, which could affect outcomes of sudden cardiac arrests in Latino neighborhoods, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2017, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

The prompt use of AEDs by bystanders can greatly improve survival from sudden cardiac arrest occurring in public, yet their use is strikingly low possibly because of lack of public awareness, researchers said. Previous studies have highlighted disparities in receiving CPR and CPR training in Latino communities, but no studies have assessed AED awareness and associated racial disparities.

In this study, researchers collected demographic information and AED awareness from 9,022 individuals in a nationally representative telephone survey conducted in English and Spanish.

They found: These findings provide important evidence of racial disparities in AED awareness that may impact sudden cardiac arrest outcomes, especially in Latino-predominant neighborhoods.

An AED is a computerized medical device that can check a person's heart rate and rhythm as well as deliver an electrical shock through the chest to the heart if necessary. It can help save the life of someone who has suffered sudden cardiac arrest, the abrupt loss of heart function. The AED uses voice prompts, lights and visual messages instructing the rescuer in the steps of AED use. AEDs are very accurate and easy to use. With a few hours of training, anyone can learn to operate an AED safely, according to the American Heart Association.
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The American Heart Association funded the study.

Benjamin Abella, M.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Note: Scientific presentation time is 8:50 a.m. PT, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017.

Presentation location: Room: 155-159/ACC North

Additional Resources:Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke - the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA News Media in Dallas: 214-706-1173

AHA News Media Office, Nov. 11-15, 2017 at the Anaheim Convention Center: 714-765-2004.

For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

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American Heart Association

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