Static Automated External Defibrillators for Opportunistic Use by Bystanders

Aims and Scope

The first research question submitted to KCE concerned the clinical- and cost-effectiveness of the provision of publicly accessible automated external defibrillators (AED) intended for opportunistic use by bystanders who witness a cardiac arrest. The report focuses on the use of AEDs as a standalone intervention, i.e. not incorporated into a coordinated public access defibrillation (PAD) programme (see section 1.2), because this is currently the dominant practice in Belgium (see section 5.3). The question was not to advise the government about the most effective strategies for PAD, as the governmental involvement in PAD is very limited, but if it should support (also financially) the current practice or not (as currently most AEDs are privately owned). A secondary question concerned the utility of the mandatory central registration of AEDs by the SPF Public Health.