"Massive" Shortage Of Defibrillators Costing Lives, USA
"Now I know, first hand, why something like that is important to have around. So, no, I never thought about the significance of it. Now I think about it every day," says Joe.
And some experts say you should too. The problem is, there just aren't that many o these machines around, and few people who've been trained to use them. They're called AED's and if there were more, more patients like Joe would be alive today.
"There's good evidence that putting AED's in public buildings, office buildings, shopping malls, hotels and the like, will double the victims chances of survival," says Michael Sayre, MD At the Ohio State University Medical Center.
Doctor Michael Sayre of Ohio State University Medical Center is part of a national movement that wants to put more AED's in public places, and train 20-million Americans a year how to use them. He says the thought of it can be intimidating, but many models have a voice recording that tells you step by step what to do. And even though they deliver an electric shock to the patient, they cannot shock you.
"Of course they're a little bit concerned about what might happen, but really they're very easy to use, I am confident I could team anyone to use one in less than 5 minutes," says Dr. Sayre. It's five minutes that could have a lifetime impact for patients like Joe. The American Heart Association has a goal to put an automated external defibrillator, or AED no more than 3 minutes away from anyone who might need it. They hope that someday they will be as common and visible as fire extinguishers. If you would like to learn to use one, you can call your local chapter of the American Red Cross.
*Saving a Life Is as Easy as A-E-D, American Red Cross, retrieved December 2008 from http://www.americanheart.org
Ohio State University Medical Center
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