Presence and use of automated external defibrillators in occupational setting, Belgium
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Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium (Department of Public Health)
Mensura, Occupational Health Service, Antwerp, Belgium
Katrien Mortelmans Consulting (KaMoCo), Antwerp, Belgium
Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium (Department of Internal Medicine)
Maria Middelares General Hospital, Ghent, Belgium (Emergency Department)
Online publication date: 2018-08-29
Corresponding author
Mathieu Verbrugghe   

Ghent University, Department of Public Health, De Pintelaan 185 – 4K3, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2018;31(5):603–611
Objectives: Few studies focus on out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the occupational setting. Therefore, this study describes the presence and use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) at Belgian workplaces during the period 2012–2014. Material and Methods: A self-constructed questionnaire was developed and sent to internal prevention counselors. Results: In total, 767 companies filled out the questionnaire. An AED was available in 48.8% of the companies. Presence mainly depended on the number of persons present in the company (both workers and non-workers (e.g., visitors, clients)) and on some occupational cardiovascular risks but was often not based on a well-conducted risk analysis. Training of workers and AED maintenance were provided appropriately. An AED was used for shocking 23 times of which 10 persons survived. Conclusions: Acquiring an AED in the occupational setting is seldom based on a well-conducted risk analysis. Therefore, instructions and criteria are needed to come to a rational decision. Furthermore, a registry on AED utilization in the workplace (e.g., with data on long-term survival) should be set up. Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2018;31(5):603–611