Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) save lives

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). 

Using a defibrillator on an individual in cardiac arrest increases his survival rate by 60 percent, according to OSHA. “For every minute that passes without CPR or defibrillation, the chances of a cardiac arrest victim’s survival decrease by up to 10 percent,” OSHA said.

Roper Saint Francis Healthcare HeartSave Program

First established by a grant in 2006, the HeartSave AED Program is operated by Roper St. Francis Emergency Services and is the only program in the Charleston tri-county area providing donated AED devices accompanied by CPR training using American Heart Association guidelines. As part of the Roper St. Francis mission of healing all people with compassion, faith and excellence, the community-based program provides essential emergency cardiac and first aid training as well as donated AED devices and equipment that directly enhance the greater Charleston area’s community-based response to emergency cardiac events by increasing bystander participation in delivering immediate CPR.

Through HeartSave, all Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester county public schools now have an AED in place, a requirement under state law. To date, HeartSave has placed more than 758 AED devices in area schools and additional public sites throughout the area, with each facility serving on average 450 or more constituents a year. The program provides maintenance, including new batteries and pads, to these existing AEDs. Depending upon funding, the HeartSave AED Program fulfills requests for placement of new AEDs and trainings in schools and appropriate public spaces each year. For more Information, contact:

The Centers for Disease Control reports that about 350,000 sudden cardiac arrests (SCA) occur outside of hospitals each year — and about 7 in 10 of those happen at home. Sadly, nearly half of the people who experience cardiac arrests at home don’t get the help they need from family members, friends, or other bystanders before emergency responders arrive.

However, if someone begins CPR and uses an AED within the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, it can double or triple a person’s chance of survival (CDC). 

Legal Issues, Liabilities Around AEDs, click on link for good Samaritan law


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