Have You Seen These Life-Saving Devices at the Mall or Theater?
Every year, up to 450,000 Americans die of sudden cardiac arrest. This life-threatening emergency could be treated with an automated external defibrillator (AED). Maybe you've seen these portable devices mounted behind glass, perhaps at the airport, in an office building or at your health club.
When applied to the chest of someone in cardiac arrest, the AED automatically analyzes the patient's heart and tells the rescuer if a shock is needed to restore a normal heartbeat. AEDs provide instructions with voice prompts and written directions on a screen. The American Red Cross currently includes AED training in its standard CPR training.
AEDs really do save lives, reports a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study compared volunteers who had CPR training with those who had both CPR and AED training. There were almost twice as many cardiac-arrest survivors assigned to the CPR-plus-AED group as in the CPR-only group.
Learn to Use an AED!
The Heartsaver CPR course at Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County offers instruction on using an AED. This course also teaches CPR and relief from choking to all lay rescuers, particularly those expected to respond to workplace emergencies. Upcoming classes will be held on Nov. 3 and Dec. 1. The cost is $45 per person and registration is required. For details, call (609) 835-2900, ext. 4012.