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Use of Automated External Defibrillators in US Federal Buildings: Implementation of the Federal Occupational Health Public Access Defibrillation Program

Kilaru, Austin S. BA; Leffer, Marc MD, MPH; Perkner, John DO, MSPH; Sawyer, Kate Flanigan MD, MPH; Jolley, Chandra E. BSN, RN; Nadkarni, Lindsay D. BA; Shofer, Frances S. PhD; Merchant, Raina M. MD, MSHP

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: January 2014 - Volume 56 - Issue 1 - p 86–91
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000042
Original Articles

Objective: Federal Occupational Health (FOH) administers a nationwide public access defibrillation program in US federal buildings. We describe the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in federal buildings and evaluate survival after cardiac arrest.

Methods: Using the FOH database, we examined reported events in which an AED was brought to a medical emergency in federal buildings over a 14-year period, from 1999 to 2012.

Results: There were 132 events involving an AED, 96 (73%) of which were due to cardiac arrest of cardiac etiology. Of 54 people who were witnessed to experience a cardiac arrest and presented with ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia, 21 (39%) survived to hospital discharge.

Conclusions: Public access defibrillation, along with protocols to install, maintain, and deploy AEDs and train first responders, benefits survival after cardiac arrest in the workplace.

From the Department of Emergency Medicine (Mr Kilaru, Ms Nadkarni, and Drs Shofer and Merchant), Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; and Federal Occupational Health (Drs Leffer, Perkner, and Sawyer and Ms Jolley), US Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Md.

Address correspondence to: Marc Leffer MD, MPH, Chief, Medical Affairs and Strategic Development, Federal Occupational Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, Air Rights Center, 4550 Montgomery Ave, Ste 950, Bethesda, MD 20814 (

R.M. Merchant received grant support from the National Institutes of Health, K23 grant 10714038, and pilot funding from Physio-Control, Seattle, WA; Zoll Medical, Boston, MA; Cardiac Science, Bothell, WA; and Philips Medical, Seattle, WA.

M. Leffer, K.F. Sawyer, and C.E. Jolley are US government employees. J. Perkner is currently a retired US government employee.

*A.S. Kilaru and M. Leffer contributed equally to this work and are listed as colead authors.

The authors A.S. Kilaru, L.D. Nadkarni, and F.S. Shofer declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine