Early defibrillation is critical to the outcomes of adults in cardiac arrest. The authors discuss the use of BLS responders to supplement an ACLS response team in the hospital.

A survey was completed at Boston Medical Center to gather data on the attitudes of nurses in non–critical care areas toward using automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to complement a traditional response by a code team that used manual defibrillators. Intensive care nurses on the code team interacted with non–critical care nurses using AEDs when the code team responded to codes during a 1-year study period. We thought that nurses’ acceptance of and attitudes toward these new Basic Life Support (BLS) devices were important to the successful integration of such devices into code-response policies (Figure 1). In a 2-tiered approach, when a patient required defibrillation, a nurse in the patient’s...

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