A few days I was watching a video on You Tube which showed the callous attitude among commuters towards ambulances on the roads. Many drivers don’t give way to an ambulance that might be speeding away to save someone’s life.
As a matter of fact in India Sudden Cardiac arrest is almost 99% fatal as health workers never reach in time. The first 5 minutes is very critical for a sudden cardiac arrest patient. In India we have 660,000 deaths due to sudden cardiac arrest and if help reaches in time we can save almost 95 % of these patients. But then who can save such a patient and what would be the solution ?
We if we believe the researchers and scientists at the Philips Innovation Center at Bangalore, you could be the valiant Savior of a patient having a sudden cardiac arrest. And all you need is a handy Automated External Defibrillator (AED). An The Philips AED is an external device that walks you step by step on the necessary steps that you need to take in order to stabilize a patient and secure vital minutes till the ambulance arrives. and all it requires is the press of a button. I had witnessed a demo for the AED a few months ago a created a video on the same.
Now currently the AED units are in places like the Airport, Railway station, Malls, Movie Theaters, inside a few Airlines. But in 2015 you would see these units in Upscale Restaurants, Jet Airlines and some beaches in Goa.
Highlighting the importance of AEDs in public places, Dr. Talat Halim, Director of Emergency &Trauma, Fortis Memorial Hospital, Gurgaon said, “An AED and Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) combined can save lives to a large extent and we recently saw this at the Mumbai International Airport where rapid treatment with an AED restored the heart to a normal rhythm and saved a man’s life. 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.”
Though we have a long way to go, I feel a start has been made by organizations like Philips to reduce the fatalities due to sudden cardiac arrest. But this is like a drop in the ocean. 700 AEDs would definitely not cover 660,000 patients. Also the presence of the units is mostly in urban areas and I believe that the step by step instructions are in English only. Last time I checked there were plans to have that in other languages but I am not sure if that exists today and this needs validation.
Philips also launched a poster that has some basic instructions on how to use the AED machine in case you see a patient with sudden cardiac arrest.
For more on the AED please watch the video on this and as always comments, suggestions are always welcome.