Objective: To assess the knowledge and attitudes of law enforcement officers regarding treating out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) and using automated external defibrillators (AEDs). Methods: This was a survey conducted among officers serving Marion County, Indiana. Results: Of 1,130 surveys distributed, 929 (82.2%) were returned. Among these officers, 603 (66.4%) were certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and 103 (11.3%) had received AED training. Most officers had limited knowledge regarding OHCA. A 100-point knowledge score (mean ± SD: 31.9 ± 14.3) was higher in officers who had performed CPR while on duty [35.0, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) = 32.9 to 37.2, p = 0.005] and who were AED-trained (40.8, 95% CI = 38.0 to 43.6, p < 0.001). Of the respondents, 367 (40.1%) believed that AED usage by local law enforcement was needed, and 323 (35.6%) stated that they would feel comfortable using an AED if trained. A 100-point attitude score (mean ± SD: 32.1 ± 21.0) was higher in officers who had CPR certification (38.2, 95% CI = 35.6 to 40.8), who had performed CPR while on duty (40.6, 95% CI = 37.7 to 43.5), who were AED-trained (39.5, 95% CI = 35.6 to 43.4), and who had improved OHCA knowledge (+3.8 per 10 points knowledge score, 95% CI = 3.0 to 4.7), p ± 0.001, all significant factors. Conclusions: Limited knowledge and negative attitudes of law enforcement officers regarding their involvement in treating OHCA and using AEDs are commonly present. These factors could result in barriers that negatively impact law enforcement AED programs.
- Automated external defibrillators
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
- Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine