New Delhi: Building on its commitment to helping save lives, Philips Healthcare today announced the installation of 500 Automated External Defibilirators(AEDs) at Emergency Management and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu. Having installed 300 AEDs for the Tamil Nadu Government of Medical Sciences and 50 in all major domestic airlines, the company plans to further install 100 AEDs at the Mumbai airport before the end of the year. An AED is a portable device that can automatically diagnose a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), and help save life with the press of a button. Philips 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 1% 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% of cardiovascular deaths in India. An AED, if used during an SCA within the first 4-6 minutes, can save more than 95% of lives.
“The instances of deaths due to Sudden Cardiac Arrests (SCA) have been on the rise. Long working hours, hectic lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits are the main causes behind rising incidences of SCA”, said Jitesh Mathur, Senior Director, Philips Healthcare, India. “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.”
In India, though the situation is improving by the day, reaching a hospital or getting an appropriately equipped ambulance within 10 minutes of suffering from an SCA continues to be a challenge. This makes access to emergency devices such as AEDs in public places critical. Onlookers need not feel helpless; rather they can feel empowered to save a life with the help of AED technology.
Highlighting the importance of AEDs in public places, Dr. Vijaya Reddy, Senior Consultant Emergency Medical Services, Max Hospital adds, “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.”
Globally, Save Lives, a Philips Healthcare sponsored initiative, is specifically designed to raise awareness on the life-saving capacity of every citizen when they are provided access to the latest technology. The initiative is focussed on raising awareness on how AEDs can be effectively used to manage Sudden Cardiac Arrests and potentially save lives.