Sudden cardiac arrest, or SCA, can strike anyone, anywhere, at anytime. SCA kills more than 450,000 Americans each year, making it the leading cause of death in the United States. In SCA, the heart suddenly stops beating normally and can no longer effectively pump blood.
Portable AEDs — Automated External Defibrillators — save lives. They’re the size of a small dinner plate, portable, and contain powerful, sophisticated electronics and a user-friendly interface that allows anyone, literally, to save someone’s life. When AEDs are available and used within the first minute up to 90% of victims may survive. That’s why they are ideal for use in schools, at sporting arenas, anywhere people gather. They’re affordable and simple to use, even by untrained personnel.
AEDs are beginning to turn up all over the country — in schools, on buses, at sporting events, wherever there may be a crowd, and/or the potential for a cardiac emergency. Today’s sophisticated AEDs can analyze, in part, the cardiac condition of a person in the field, give the user step-by-step foolproof instructions, and in most cases shock a victim’s heart back into operation with a simplicity that seems almost child’s play.
The ranks of professionals supporting AEDs is growing. Paul Tucker, MD of Bastrop Medical Center in Bastrop, Texas, believes in AED technology and supports the wider distribution of these lifesaving products in schools and many other public places such as airports and on planes themselves.
Even though he is a doctor, he insists that one need not be a doctor to use it. “AEDs are portable, affordable, and essential to saving lives that would otherwise be cut short by SCA. Every school should have one; in addition, every airport, sports arena, police stations, churches, even restaurants. The AED is an essential tool for saving lives that even the untrained bystander can operate, even if he or she has no prior emergency training.”
“The whole idea behind these devices is that they can be used by anyone” he says. “Although the untrained bystander might be reluctant to use it, they actually can, because the operation of it is simple enough, and it walks the user through every step. Any individual with a little emergency training at all, however, would find it no problem whatsoever. Once a person overcomes the reluctance to act, the AED does the rest.” Dr. Tucker’s patient, UT and former Westlake football player Matt Nader, was himself resuscitated from SCA by an AED. This lifesaving example was instrumental in the successful push to get AED’s in all Texas schools. “Matt testified repeatedly to the Texas legislature and also made speeches all over the state on the topic” Dr. Tucker recalls. “It truly was Matt’s repeated estimony, along with his very successful outcome, that made the difference.”
When St. Mary’s Cathedral in Austin, TX purchased a HeartSine samaritan® PAD Automatic External Defibrillator from local HeartSine distributor SB Wholesale, they brought Dr. Tucker in to familiarize key personnel with its operation. They purchased the HeartSine samaritan PAD for reasons of ease of use, compact size, and costeffectiveness, but they still wanted their people trained by a cardiologist.
HeartSine’s samaritan PAD was designed especially for use in public areas by providing a sophisticated defibrillator for adult or pediatric use, inside a lightweight and easy-to-operate system. The samaritan® PAD is available with the capability of accepting either adult or pediatric cartridges. Dr. Tucker cautions that “The success of its use depends of course in large part on the cardiac condition of the patient. Not everyone can be successfully revived this way, but for all those that can, it is tremendously important to have this technology available.”
Heartsine Technologies, Inc., a world leader in personal and public access automatic external defibrillators, is celebrating its 10th anniversary of bringing lifesaving defibrillation therapy to non-traditional areas of care. For more information on Heartsine defibrillators, visit heartsine.com.