The new web-based data platform www.definetzwerk.at created by MedUni Vienna together with Puls, the association combating sudden heart death, provides an independent and neutral platform that will show the locations of defibrillator stations. The database will be made available to emergency service control centers and this should increase the use of defibrillators by first responders and consequently improve the survival rate of those suffering cardiac arrest.
More than 12,000 people every year die from sudden heart death in Austria. Prompt use of a defibrillator can save the life of someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest.
The aim of the defibrillator network project is to map the locations of defibrillators available to the general public in a multi-verified database and to make this information available online, so that people are able to find the nearest device quickly in an emergency.
“The defibrillator network project is an important milestone in the fight against sudden heart death, because it increases the availability of the growing number of publicly accessible defibrillators to emergency service control centers and consequently also to first responders,” says project leader Mario Krammel, Principal of the Department of Anaesthesia, General Intensive Care and Pain Therapy at MedUni Vienna.
“We would therefore ask anybody who knows where there is a defibrillator station to register it on the defibrillator network.” That’s easy to do thanks to the user-friendly input screen of the www.definetzwerk.at web platform, set up by project partner 144 Notruf NÖ, which guides users step-by-step through the input procedure.
The defibrillator network relies on cooperation with emergency organizations and private providers and the involvement of defibrillator sales companies and crowd sourcing to verify and maintain the database. That means: anyone can add a new defibrillator location online. However, since it is essential to control the quality of the data, entries are not released until they have been verified by in-house administrators. Over time the project will create a permanently maintained, national, publicly accessible defibrillator register with standardized data relating to the location of the defibrillator, its use and its service history.
The project is to be monitored and evaluated by MedUni Vienna to establish how effective it is. An interdisciplinary working group , drawn from four university departments (anaesthesia, accident, emergency, internal medicine/cardiology), is providing scientific support to the project.