Although seven years have passed after basic emergency medical technician (EMT) defibrillatiorv system,was, introduced -in Japan,- the. overall .survival for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) remains poor. We investigated factors leading to such an unanticipated result in Japan by comparing the data of OHCA in Japan with those in other countries. We obtained population-based OHCA data from three communities in Japan. We also performed a comprehensive literature and manual search to identify reports that included rates for incidence and survival or provided sufficient data for the calculation of these rates of OHCA. Statistical analysis was performed to compare survival and incidence rates between the communities. We identified 36 articles from 16 countries by a comprehensive literature search. There was no significant difference in incidence and survival rates among communities in Japan. Although the incidence rate of collapse-witnessed OHCA with ventricular fibrillation (VF) was much lower in Japan than western countries, the proportions of survival from it were comparable to those. Basic-EMT defibrillation system in Japan has yielded excellent result in terms of the survival of VF cases. However, much lower oroDortion of VF to all cases is responsible for lower overall rates of survival from OHCA in Japan. cardiac arrest, emergency medical services, defibrillation, out-of-hospital CPR, utstein style.
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