Automated external defibrillator location and socioeconomic deprivation in Great Britain

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jats:secjats:titleObjective</jats:title>jats:pThe early use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) improves outcomes in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). We investigated AED access across Great Britain (GB) according to socioeconomic deprivation.</jats:p></jats:sec>jats:secjats:titleMethods</jats:title>jats:pCross-sectional observational study using AED location data from The Circuit: the national defibrillator network led by the British Heart Foundation in partnership with the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, Resuscitation Council UK and St John Ambulance. We calculated street network distances between all 1 677 466 postcodes in GB and the nearest AED and used a multilevel linear mixed regression model to investigate associations between the distances from each postcode to the nearest AED and Index of Multiple Deprivation, stratified by country and according to 24 hours 7 days a week (24/7) access.</jats:p></jats:sec>jats:secjats:titleResults</jats:title>jats:p78 425 AED locations were included. Across GB, the median distance from the centre of a postcode to an AED was 726 m (England: 739 m, Scotland: 743 m, Wales: 512 m). For 24/7 access AEDs, the median distances were further (991 m, 994 m, 570 m). In Wales, the average distance to the nearest AED and 24/7 AED was shorter for the most deprived communities. In England, the average distance to the nearest AED was also shorter in the most deprived areas. There was no association between deprivation and average distance to the nearest AED in Scotland. However, the distance to the nearest 24/7 AED was greater with increased deprivation in England and Scotland. On average, a 24/7 AED was in England and Scotland, respectively, 99.2 m and 317.1 m further away in the most deprived than least deprived communities.</jats:p></jats:sec>jats:secjats:titleConclusion</jats:title>jats:pIn England and Scotland, there are differences in distances to the nearest 24/7 accessible AED between the most and least deprived communities. Equitable access to ‘out-of-hours’ accessible AEDs may improve outcomes for people with OHCA.</jats:p></jats:sec>


Peer reviewed: True

Acknowledgements: We are grateful to The Circuit for providing the dataset for analysis and to the individuals and organisations that provide public access defibrillators for population benefit. Many thanks also to Professor Chris Price for his valuable comments on the manuscript.

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Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00006/7, MGU0504)
Barts Charity (MGU0504)