Bill Funds AEDs; Confusion about CPR

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Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for nearly 300,000 deaths every year – more than lung cancer, breast cancer and HIV/AIDS combined. The chance of survival decreases by about 10 percent for every minute that a defibrillation shock from an AED is not received, however, AEDs are still not widely available and their use is often unknown.

A bill that recently passed in the House will go a long way to ensuring that time is not wasted when young children or their educators suffer an SCA. The legislation, which is featured in this portal, provides money to purchase AEDs for elementary and secondary schools in the U.S. It also earmarks dollars for training in the usage of the devices.

The House bill is named after Josh Miller, a high-school athlete who suddenly collapsed and died during a football game. The ambulance on the scene did not have an AED. Josh and countless other young—and older—people could be alive today if their hearts could have been shocked back into rhythm.

A new study featured in this portal shows that the lack of understanding of CPR may affect a patient's choice about whether to have orders in place to be resuscitated if he or she is dying.

Researchers explained to the participants the chances of survival and of good neurological function following CPR. Afterward, 20 percent of them had changed their preferences for CPR.

The study pointed to several gaps in knowledge including a low percentage who knew what CPR stands for and an even lower percentage that did not understand that CPR in the hospital involves the use of an AED. The conclusion of the investigators is for physicians to provide better explanations of CPR and do not resuscitate orders.

For more information on products associated with external defibrillators, be sure to stop by our HealthCare TechGuide. Company and product listings, whitepapers and upcoming events are just a mouse click away.

Lastly, if you have a comment or report to share about any aspect of sudden cardiac arrest, please contact me at the address below. I look forward to hearing from you.

C.P. Kaiser, Editor
ckaiser@cardiovascularbusiness.com