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Archived News Release from 2003

For Immediate Release

Redwood City Helping to Make Community "Heart Safe" with Defibrillators at Public Buildings

Redwood City, CA - June 20, 2003 - Redwood City is taking action to help the community be 'heart safe' by installing Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) in ten public buildings this month. The Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) program, which includes training staff in the use of AEDs and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) at each location, is being implemented to help save lives in the event of sudden cardiac arrest. These devices are already sometimes seen in stadiums, airports, shopping malls, on airplanes, and at other public buildings. Next year, the City is planning to purchase six more units to extend the program to other buildings throughout the community.

The first phase of Redwood City's PAD program will begin by placing the units at the Red Morton Community Center, the Community Activities Building, the Veterans Memorial Senior Center, the Senior Center Annex, Herkner and Hoover Pools, the Fair Oaks Community Center, Sandpiper Community Center, the Redwood City Main Library, and City Hall. The second phase will provide six additional AED units at Schaberg Library, the second floor of City Hall, the Police Station, the Municipal Corporation Yard, the Fair Oaks Library, and the second floor the Main Library.

Each day across the country, an average of 1,000 people die from sudden cardiac arrest, largely because they can't get to a hospital in time for defibrillation. Statistics have shown that an average survival rate of a sudden cardiac arrest victim with only CPR performed on them is about 7%. Those having a combination of CPR and use of an AED have about an 80% chance of survival. In light of these astounding statistics, more and more AEDs are being placed in public places in order to be prepared to help increase the odds of saving a life in the event of cardiac arrest.

Using an electrocardiogram analysis system, AEDs rapidly and automatically asses the victim's heart rhythm and safely make the correct therapy decisions. New advances in technology have enabled a smaller, lightweight, easy to use, and highly effective AED. Each unit costs about $1,800.

Sudden cardiac arrest is most often caused by ventricular fibrillation, a condition in which the heart's electrical impulses suddenly become chaotic causing the heart to stop. The only effective treatment in these cases is rapid defibrillation which, when administered within four minutes or less, greatly boosts the chance of survival. AEDs are designed to deliver a low "dose" of electricity to jolt the chaotic impulses quivering in the heart safely back into an organized rhythm.

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Contact: Chris Beth
Parks Superintendent
(650) 780-7253

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