Electromagnetic fields (EMF) reduce the signal quality of electrocardiograms and may lead to the misinterpretation by automated external defibrillators (AED). We designed this investigation as a prospective study, with a randomized sequence of AED applications on healthy volunteers. We chose busy public places where public access defibrillation was possible as test locations. Strong EMF were sought and found at train stations next to accelerating and decelerating trains. The primary outcome variable was the absolute number of shocks advised in the presence of sinus rhythm by five commonly used AED in Austria. For data analysis, the statistician was blinded in regard to the AED models tested. Data analysis was based on a per protocol evaluation. Of 390 tests run, 0 cases of false positive results occurred (95% CI: 0-0.77). AED can be regarded as safe, even with the interference of EMF present at train stations.
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