An AED is a portable device which is attached via paddles to a patient suffering signs of a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) or myocardial infarction (a heart attack). The AED will automatically confirm the diagnosis, and if the person is indeed suffering a heart attack, will give the needed electrical jolt to stabilise the heart-beat and help save the life with the press of a button. The AEDs can be used by anyone without formal training—each AED comes with audio and visual instructions for its operation.
With more than 660,000 deaths occurring every year in India alone as a result of SCA, the survival rate is less than one per cent as emergency medical services do not reach on time. This actually means that this is the leading cause of death and accounts for greater than 50 per cent of cardiovascular deaths in India. An AED, if used during an SCA within the first four to six minutes, can save more than 95 per cent of lives, stated the release.
Jitesh Mathur, Senior Director, Philips Healthcare, India said
“The instances of deaths due to SCA have been on the rise. Long working hours, hectic lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits are the main causes behind rising incidences of SCA”, “Unfortunately, an SCA does not happen only to people who suffer from heart diseases or with age or only to men. SCAs are unrelated to age, sex, existing heart ailments and family history. Recently we have seen increased incidences of deaths due to SCA in women and children,”
Highlighting the importance of AEDs in public places, Dr. Vijaya Reddy, Senior Consultant Emergency Medical Services, Max Hospital, stated,
“An AED and Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) combined can save lives to a large extent but their availability in public places in India has still not happened. We have seen an increase in AEDs in aircraft and at airports where it is mandatory but an AED is still not mandatory in metros, malls, cinema halls or even ambulances.”