Introduction Life-threatening emergencies are not limited to the emergency department. Any delay in intervention during an emergency often culminates into a poor outcome. Early electrical defibrillation is one of the most important interventions in patients with cardiac arrest. This study aimed to conduct a clinical audit of defibrillator devices at an urban public sector hospital in Johannesburg.
Methods All defibrillator devices within various areas of the hospital were assessed. Device characteristics were recorded into a data collection sheet and subjected to further analysis.
Results This study assessed 112 out of 123 areas in the hospital with a total of 143 defibrillators comprising 139(97.2%) manual external defibrillators (MED) and four(2.8%) automated external defibrillators (AED). MEDs were located in the general wards (n=52, 37.4%), theatre complex (n=25, 17.9%), high dependency areas (n=27, 19.4%) and non-sleepover areas (n=35, 25.2%). Daily checklist books were available for 101 (72.7%) MEDs, 26 (18.7%) had at least once daily documented checks over a 5-day period while 57 (41.0%) had been serviced in the last 12 months. Seven MEDs (4.9%) and one AED (0.7%) had critical problems.
Conclusion Compliance with regard to the availability of defibrillator checklist books, conducting and recording of daily defibrillator checks, timely service maintenance of defibrillators and identification of critical device problems was suboptimal in this study. There is a need for ongoing training of hospital staff as well as the establishment of systems to prevent potential adverse consequences due to device failure.
- emergency medicine
- intensive care
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Contributors SM: guarantor of the manuscript and responsible for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of data analysis, data collection, statistical analysis and interpretation of data; drafting, writing, review and incorporating coauthor’s feedback, revision, and approval of the submission. FM: contributed to the study concept; interpretation of the data; review, revision and approval of the manuscript. CE: interpretation of the data; review, revision and approval of the manuscript. AEL: contributed to the study concept and design, statistical analysis and interpretation of data, the drafting and writing, review and incorporating coauthor’s feedback, revision and final approval of the manuscript, corresponding author.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Not required.
Ethics approval Ethical clearance was obtained from the Human Research Ethics Committee (medical) of the University of the Witwatersrand (clearance certificate number M160210) prior to commencement of data collection.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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