Unfortunately, most people don’t know much about sudden cardiac arrest, and 64% of Americans have never even seen an AED. We’re hoping to change that through education and getting AEDs in more public places.
Here five things you might not know about sudden cardiac arrest*:
- Each year in the U.S., there are approximately 424,000 cardiac arrests outside of a hospital setting and on average, just 5.2% of victims survive.
- Cardiac arrest affects people of all ages, but occurs most commonly in adults with coronary artery disease.
- Immediate CPR and early defibrillation with an AED can more than double a victim’s chance of survival.
- Early defibrillation, along with CPR, is the only way to restore the victim’s heart rhythm to normal in a lot of cases of cardiac arrest.
- For every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, the chances of survival decrease by 7–10%.
As you can see, accessing an AED can be a lifesaving measure in many situations. We want to make sure that as many Staten Islanders as possible have access to AEDs and are trained to use them, which is why we recently launched “The Heart Project,” a donation and training program. My office purchased 20 AEDs from our expense budget to be donated to small businesses and non-profit organizations around the Island. We’ve given out many of them, but there are still nine left that need to be distributed.
If you have a small business on Staten Island with fewer than 25 employees, we invite you to apply to receive an AED. We are asking the recipients to train their employees in CPR/AED, and the Staten Island Heart Society is partnering with us to offer reduced rates for their Heart Saver/AED Certified Class. You can apply for an AED at www.statenislandusa.com/aed
I want to encourage all business owners on Staten Island to purchase their own AEDs and get their employees trained in CPR/AED. It truly can mean the difference between life and death.