ANCHOR LEAD: IF YOU SEE SOMEONE SUFFER A HEART ATTACK, DON’T HESITATE TO USE AN AED, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
If you witness someone suffer an apparent heart attack, don’t waste time agonizing over whether your attempts to use an AED will cause more harm than good. Just use the device. When you do you increase someone’s chance of survival from about 6% to over 30%, and the devices are designed to be used by just about anyone, says Rick Lange, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins.
LANGE: I think that most people are concerned that defibrillation is very difficult to do, and this study is important because these were bystanders that really weren’t trained in defibrillation, that is once they had identified someone who had experienced sudden death, they went to the nearest AED, took it off the wall, and followed the directions. The important message is the directions are so incredibly easy that a sixth grader could understand them. :24
Lange says plans are afoot to install AEDS much more widely, such that no one in a public place is more than 4 minutes from such a lifesaving device. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.