Every second counts when someone is having a cardiac arrest — but there’s often a disconnect between where the event happens and the nearest defibrillator. New research focusing on Toronto suggests that busy coffee shops and bank machines may be ideal locations for the life-saving devices.
When a cardiac arrest occurs, the survival rate decreases by 10 per cent for every minute that CPR and application of a defibrillator is delayed, emergency room doctors say.
Until now, physicians, governments and community efforts have focused on placing automated external defibrillators or AEDs in shopping malls or office buildings so bystanders are able to access the devices to help when someone’s heart malfunctions electrically and stops beating.
But previous Canadian research suggests about one in five cardiac arrests happened when a nearby defibrillator was in a location that was closed at the time, said Prof. Timothy Chan, director of the Centre for Healthcare Engineering at the University of Toronto.
Chan and his colleagues created two overlapping sets of Toronto maps to show where cardiac arrests occurred from 2007 through 2015 in relation to businesses with defibrillators, taking into account the business hours at each location. The researchers used information from paramedics, the Canadian Franchise Association, websites and in some cases personally visited locations to confirm the working hours.
The rankings were based on where cardiac arrests were the most frequent and where defibrillators were available when needed.
Coffee shops (Tim Hortons, Starbucks and Second Cup) and automated bank machines of the five major Canadian banks topped the list of where defibrillators should be located, published in Monday’s issue of the journal Circulation.
Tim Hortons was ranked first, with more than 300 shops in…