Public access defibrillation is the term used to describe the use of AEDs by laypeople. Two basic strategies are used.
In the first, AEDs are installed in public places and used by people working nearby. Impressive results have been reported with survival rates as high as 74% with fast response times often possible when an AED is nearby.
In a complementary strategy, first responders are dispatched by an ambulance control centre when they might reach a patient more quickly than a conventional ambulance. The greater delay in defibrillation resulting from the need for such responders to travel to a patient has been associated with more modest success rates. However, this strategy does enable treatment of people who arrest at home, the commonest place for cardiac arrest to occur.
Further information may be found on the RC(UK) web site.