Save Money. Save Lives.
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), a condition where the heart enters into a life-threatening rhythm, claims the lives of more than 350,000 Americans every year. The Snider Community Heart Watch is working to make Fairfield County a heart-safe community by increasing access to automated external defibrillators (AEDs), which are used to return the heart to a normal rhythm after SCA. When someone suffers from SCA, the chance of survival is less than 7 percent. However, with CPR and the use of an AED within three minutes of the heart stopping, the chance of survival is increased up to 70 percent.
“Many communities are not adequately prepared to respond to a cardiac arrest using an AED—our community is no exception,” said Dr. Douglas Pope, FMC hospitalist and president of the Medical Staff. “The primary barrier to having more AEDs has been price, as a few years ago they could cost several thousand dollars.” To help decrease the cost of AEDs, the Snider Community Heart Watch has started the Public Access AED Program, through which AEDs can be purchased at well below retail price. So far, more than 70 AED units have been placed in our community.
The Snider Community Heart Watch, a task force of FMC physicians, nurses, other employees and community members, wants AEDs available in the public places throughout the community. “Communities that have implemented a public access AED program with community-wide CPR training have been shown to raise survival rates to nearly 50 percent,” said Bob Williams, supervisor of the cardiac cath lab at FMC. “We would like to see AEDs located in as many public places as possible, including schools, athletic centers, shopping areas, businesses, places of worship and all law enforcement vehicles.”
For pricing or purchasing information, contact Jeff Solenbarger at (740) 687-8065.
For more information about the AEDs and education, contact Jennifer Dicken at (740) 687-8345.