Initial clinical experience with a fully automatic in-hospital external cardioverter defibrillator

Thomas A. Mattioni, Koonlawee Nademanee, Michael Brodsky, John Fisher, David Riggio, Byron Allen, Susan Welch, Raul A. Ybarra, Lin Dongping, Edna Dean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Sudden cardiac death due to ventricular tachyarrhythmia remains a significant problem in the in-hospital setting. Although the probability of survival is closely correlated with the rapidity of a response by qualified personnel, response times can be prolonged, even in specialized care units. In an effort to decrease response time, a fully automatic external cardioverter defibrillator was recently devised. This device was evaluated in the in-hospital setting to assess safety and efficacy. A total of 79 patients were studied in a multicenter trial. Patients were monitored with fully functional devices in the electrophysiology laboratory (51 patients) and in the cardiac care unit (28 patients). Performance of the device was assessed by comparing automatic responses to any sustained change in cardiac rhythm, either spontaneous or induced, to a retrospective review of stored ECG data and programmed parameters. During a total duration of 964 hours of monitoring, there were 99 episodes of sustained tachycardia. Therapy was appropriately delivered or advised in all episodes. Therapy was advised in one episode of supraventricular tachycardia. There were no episodes of inappropriate therapy delivery. There were no complications or adverse events. The device performed with a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 98.8% with an average response time of 22 seconds. In conclusion, this automatic external defibrillator was safe, effective, and functioned as designed. Significant improvement in response time to life-threatening ventricular tachyarrhythmia in the in-hospital setting would be expected if this technology was widely adopted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1648-1655
Number of pages8
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


  • AED
  • Cardioversion
  • External defibrillation
  • In-hospital cardiac arrest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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