While government bodies in the USA and England have embraced the use of public access defibrillation ahead of conclusive randomised trials, a more cautious approach is being taking in Australia.
Visitors to the USA and England are likely to be surprised by the presence of defibrillators with prominent signage in major airports, railway stations and convention centres. Defibrillators are available, like fire extinguishers, for members of the public to use – i.e. to be publicly accessible – in the event of a person experiencing a sudden unexpected cardiac arrest from ventricular fibrillation. They will become a more common sight in the USA from April 2004, when legislation comes into effect, requiring such devices to be installed in all commercial aircraft with one or more cabin attendants, and to be readily available in all federal buildings of any size.