Ranking Businesses and Municipal Locations by Spatiotemporal Cardiac Arrest Risk to Guide Public Defibrillator Placement

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Efforts to guide automated external defibrillator placement for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) treatment have focused on identifying broadly defined location categories without considering hours of operation. Broad location categories may be composed of many businesses with varying accessibility. Identifying specific locations for automated external defibrillator deployment incorporating operating hours and time of OHCA occurrence may improve automated external defibrillator accessibility. We aim to identify specific businesses and municipal locations that maximize OHCA coverage on the basis of spatiotemporal assessment of OHCA risk in the immediate vicinity of franchise locations.


This study was a retrospective population-based cohort study using data from the Toronto Regional RescuNET Epistry cardiac arrest database. We identified all nontraumatic public OHCAs occurring in Toronto, ON, Canada, from January 2007 through December 2015. We identified 41 unique businesses and municipal location types with ≥20 locations in Toronto from the YellowPages, Canadian Franchise Association, and the City of Toronto Open Data Portal. We obtained their geographic coordinates and hours of operation from Web sites, by phone, or in person. We determined the number of OHCAs that occurred within 100 m of each location when it was open (spatiotemporal coverage) for Toronto overall and downtown. The businesses and municipal locations were then ranked by spatiotemporal OHCA coverage. To evaluate temporal stability of the rankings, we calculated intraclass correlation of the annual coverage values.


There were 2654 nontraumatic public OHCAs. Tim Hortons ranked first in Toronto, covering 286 OHCAs. Starbucks ranked first in downtown, covering 110 OHCAs. Coffee shops and bank machines from the 5 largest Canadian banks occupied 8 of the top 10 spots in both Toronto and downtown. The rankings exhibited high temporal stability with intraclass correlation values of 0.88 (95% confidence interval, 0.83–0.93) in Toronto and 0.79 (95% confidence interval, 0.71–0.86) in downtown.


We identified and ranked businesses and municipal locations by spatiotemporal OHCA risk in their immediate vicinity. This approach may help policy makers and funders to identify and prioritize potential partnerships for automated external defibrillator deployment in public-access defibrillator programs.

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