An evaluation of the Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) Demonstration

4.4 Efficiency of the PAD Demonstration

Page last updated: August 2008

There was concern about the 'efficiency' of ongoing government funding for the purchase, installation and training of AEDs. Some identified a need for detailed cost comparison work to be undertaken, comparing public access defibrillation with other emergency care models to establish the true cost effectiveness of this type of program.

Even without a detailed examination of the cost effectiveness, stakeholders believed that the program was sustainable beyond the initial costs without a further injection of funds from the government.

Stakeholders cautioned that any estimation of cost efficiency must take into account the human costs of cardiac arrest.

While there is an initial cost, we have to take into account the huge human cost benefits when even one life is saved. (Stakeholder)
It was also stressed that estimations of efficiency of early access defibrillation should take into consideration the high cost of program establishment, installation of the devices and initial training. With the ongoing costs for maintaining units and training staff being relatively low and incidences of sudden cardiac arrests increasing over time, the longer AEDs are installed for the more efficient the program will become.

The management of the project by St John was viewed by stakeholders as very efficient, and as operating within the limitations of a PAD Demonstration.