Tags: aed | defibrillators | expanded | use

A Plan to Boost Defibrillators

Monday, 27 Feb 2012 01:56 PM


Automated external defibrillators have been shown to save lives of heart-attack victims and are popping up in a range of public and private places. But in an emergency, would you know where to find the closest one and be able to use it?

The answer for most people is no. That’s why two University of Pennsylvania doctors are proposing a plan to map the locations of the estimated one million AEDs that have been installed nationwide to provide quicker access in an emergency via the Internet and smartphones.

Writing in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality Outcomes, Penn Medicine emergency physician Dr. Raina Merchant and Dr. David Asch have proposed creating a widely available Internet resource and mobile phone app-based map to pair the devices with people willing to use them during cardiac arrests.

In addition, they suggest providing this information to local 911 dispatchers. A person calling for help in treating a heart-attack vctim might hear the following message: “Emergency medical personnel are on their way. Continue chest compressions. There is an AED in the nearby bookstore, just at the checkout register. If available, send someone who is not performing chest compressions to retrieve the AED.”

AEDs in public places have been shown to save lives by restoring irregular heart rhythms until EMTs can arrive at the scene. Quick use of an AED and CPR improve a patient’s chance of surviving by more than 50 percent, studies show.

To push the idea, Penn has launched a MyHeartMap Challenge, by calling on Philadelphians to locate and help map all of the city’s AEDs. Nearly 300 teams are participating in the contest – with $10,000 going to the group that locates the largest number of the devices. The hope is that the idea could be expanded to other cities.


© HealthDay

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Penn doctors propose mapping heart-saving public defibrillators - via the web and smartphone.
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