LIFESAVING RESOURCES INC.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine and conducted by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and the American Heart Association (AHA) found that deploying automated public access defibrillators (AEDs) in public places and training citizens to use them can double the chances of surviving sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) for the general population. Each year about 450,000 Americans die as a result of SCA, making it the nation's leading cause of death.
Currently 95% of SCA victims die before reaching the hospital due to the length of time it takes for emergency personnel to arrive on the scene. In fact, a person's chance of survival is reduced by 10% for every minute spent waiting for a life-saving defibrillation shock.
The nationwide public access defibrillation or "PAD" study showed nearly double the survival rates for victims who were administered CPR and shocked by an AED as compared to those who only received CPR. During the two-year study, 124 cardiac arrests occurred in public facilities where an AED was available and 31% of those persons survived, versus 17% of the 86 arrests that occurred in venues where only conventional responses - CPR and a call to 911 - were available.
About 20,000 volunteers took part in the study of which half were taught to use AEDs and perform CPR and the balance to perform CPR only. Approximately 1,500 automated defibrillators were placed in over 990 public facilities such as office buildings, factories, airports, shopping and community centers, and sports and entertainment venues in 24 cities nationwide.
The AHA also told a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel in July it supports the removal of the prescription requirement for AEDs.
The FDA's Circulatory System Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee met to decide whether or not to lift the prescription requirement currently required for anyone wishing to obtain an AED.
Meanwhile, the State of New York has just passed a law requiring Health Clubs with memberships in excess of 500 members to have trained personnel and an AED available on the premises at all times.
Source, Gerald M. Dworkin, Aquatics Safety & Water Rescue,
LIFESAVING RESOURCES INC. Lifesaving.com