Decreasing the time to defibrillation: A comparative study of defibrillator electrode designs

Bruce D. Adams, David M. Easty, Elaine Stuffel, Irma Hartman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Time to defibrillation (Tdefib) is the most important modifiable factor affecting survival from cardiac arrest. Mortality increases by approximately 7-10% for each minute of defibrillation delay. The purpose of this study was to determine whether defibrillator electrode design complexity affects Tdefib. Methods: This was a randomized sequential design study utilizing a standardized ventricular fibrillation cardiac arrest model for CPR mannequins. We evaluated two common types of defibrillator electrode models: a single connector design and a double connector design that requires an adaptor. We compared the time required by cardiac arrest team leaders to apply the two types of defibrillator electrodes to a manikin, connect them to a defibrillator, and then deliver a first defibrillatory shock. The primary outcome was time to defibrillation. The secondary outcome was difficulty of application as perceived by the physician participants on a 10 cm visual analog scale. Results: Thirty-two residents performed a sequential assessment of both electrodes. The average Tdefib for the double connector model was 42.9 s longer than that of the single connector model (87.5 s versus 44.6 s, p < 0.001). As evaluated by the study participants, the single connector model was significantly easier to apply then the double connector model (1.3 cm versus 4.4 cm, p < 0.001). Conclusion: The single connector defibrillator electrode design was associated with a significantly shorter Tdefib than the double connector design. It also was judged to be easier to apply in this model. Ergonomic design of defibrillator electrodes can significantly impact time to defibrillation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-174
Number of pages4
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Defibrillation
  • Medical Emergency Team
  • Megacode training
  • Utstein template
  • Ventricular fibrillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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