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Automated external defibrillator use at NCAA Division II and III universities
  1. J A Drezner1,
  2. K J Rogers2,
  3. J G Horneff3
  1. 1Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, DC, USA
  2. 2Department of Orthopedics, Alfred I DuPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Delaware, USA
  3. 3University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jonathan A Drezner, Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington, Box 354410, Seattle, Washington, DC 98195, USA; jdrezner{at}


Objective The placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at collegiate sporting venues is a growing trend. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence, location and past utilisation of AEDs at National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II and III universities.

Design Cross-sectional survey.

Setting NCAA Division II and III universities.

Participants Questionnaires were mailed to the head athletic trainer at NCAA Division II and III (N=711) colleges and universities in the fall of 2003. Findings were compared to previously published results at Division I institutions.

Main outcome measure Prevalence, location and past utilisation of AEDs.

Results Completed surveys were returned by 254 NCAA Division II and III institutions for a 35.7% response rate (254/711). 205 (81%) institutions had at least one AED in the university athletic setting, with a median of 2 AEDs per institution (range 1–9). Athletic training rooms (75%) were the most likely location to place an AED. Twelve cases of AED use for sudden cardiac arrest were reported with 67% (8/12) occurring in older non-students, 16% (2/12) in intercollegiate athletes and 16% (2/12) in students (non-intercollegiate athletes). The AED deployed a shock in eight cases. 8 of 12 (66%) victims were immediately resuscitated, but only 4 survived to hospital discharge (overall survival 33%). None of the intercollegiate athletes or students survived.

Conclusions Most NCAA Division II and III institutions that responded to the survey have implemented AEDs in their athletic programs, although they have a lower prevalence of AEDs than previously reported at Division I universities. Although no benefit was demonstrated in a small number of intercollegiate athletes, AEDs were successfully used in older individuals on campus with cardiac arrest.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.