New Zealand adopts double sequential external defibrillation for cardiac arrest
Summary: Aotearoa New Zealand recently adopted "double sequential external defibrillation" (DSED) for cardiac arrest, becoming the second country after Canada. DSED involves using two defibrillators to provide rapid sequential shocks to the heart, potentially doubling the chances of survival for patients not responding to standard shocks. New Zealand ambulance data from 2020 to 2023 identified about 1,390 potential beneficiaries with a current survival rate of only 14%. The National Ambulance Sector Clinical Working Group updated guidelines to include DSED if standard shocks fail. The Canadian trial showed a 30.4% survival rate with DSED compared to 13.3% with standard treatment. Despite limitations, experts recommend considering DSED for patients not responding to standard treatment. Training and implementation are underway, with optimism for positive impact on patient survival.