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Fighting Sudden Cardiac Arrest By Enabling Good Samaritans

Boston life save highlights value of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and laws that protect their users

BOSTON – March 10, 2009 – Three Good Samaritan rescuers in Boston recently used a Defibtech automated external defibrillator (AED) to save the life of a man who collapsed from sudden cardiac arrest at the North Station rail platform. There have been many similar life saves across the country. These actions highlight the value of Good Samaritan laws, which protect rescuers from unfair lawsuits. These laws, on the books in all 50 states, have spurred the creation of public-access AED programs throughout America.

“Thousands of lives have been saved by automated external defibrillators because individuals have been able to trust their natural impulse to respond to a sudden cardiac arrest victim rather than being afraid of getting sued,” said Dr. Glenn W. Laub, Defibtech CEO and Chairman of Cardiac Surgery and Director of the Heart Hospital at St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton, N.J.

The Boston Good Samaritans needed to react with a readily available AED in just a few minutes; sudden cardiac arrest victims treated with an AED within five minutes usually live while those left unattended for 10 minutes usually die, Dr. Laub explained. “Expecting EMS to arrive within 10 minutes, especially in Boston traffic, places unrealistic expectations on these professional responders,” Dr. Laub wrote in a commentary on the importance of enabling life saves with defibrillators.

Despite the thousands of lives saved by public access defibrillator programs, some organizations are still nervous about committing to a program’s oversight, training and maintenance requirements, fearing the liability consequences if an error is made. For example, a recent Wall Street Journal article, “Why Hotels Resist Defibrillators,” (Feb. 24, 2009) outlined the reservations of some hotel chains. “Yes, deploying and maintaining AEDs and training employees on how to use them requires responsibility and a degree of risk. But have hotels considered the risks of not having AEDs?” Dr. Laub wrote, in a response to the Wall Street Journal article.

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association also questioned the hotel industry’s approach to on-site AEDs. “Thousands of employers large and small have implemented programs to protect their employees and provide rapid response to workers who might suffer sudden cardiac arrest on the job. If nothing else, hotel executives who resist AEDs should think about the employee health and welfare benefits that go along with an emergency plan that involves staff CPR training and access to an AED,” said Chris Chiames, executive director of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association.

Value-added service helps organizations reduce liability risks
To help organizations overcome liability risks – and thereby enabling Good Samaritans – Defibtech introduced a value-added service, Defibtech MD, which helps organizations to operate AED programs that meet oversight, training and maintenance requirements.

“Just like a fire extinguisher or any other safety device, an AED must be properly maintained after it is purchased and placed into service. Defibtech MD assures that AED programs have the proper physician prescription, that they meet oversight requirements, and that they concur with government mandates,” said Dr. Laub. He added that Defibtech MD also helps organizations keep abreast of training requirements and ever-changing legal precedents that impact AED programs.

“We’re finding that the liability tide is shifting in favor of having AEDs,” he said. Individuals have successfully sued airlines, amusement parks, transit authorities and other organizations because AEDs were not available or because employees did not receive proper AED training, he explains. “If you want to avoid liability, the answer is to have an AED program with proper oversight, training and maintenance.” He added that the nation’s courts have increasingly acknowledged the availability of an AED as a “required standard of care” for employees and citizens in public areas.

Medical research also has verified the effectiveness of AED programs. A 2004 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that public access to AEDs significantly improves the chances of survival from sudden cardiac arrest, which kills up to 325,000 Americans each year.

Safety Ireland First Response is the sole authorised distributor for Defibtech LLC products in Ireland. Only units sold by us or our approved resellers are covered under warranty. We are also an approved training site for the Irish Heart Foundation & the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council.  Safety Ireland with Defibtech have the highest level of support available in Ireland for defibrillators. With our main office just off the M50 in Terenure Dublin, and offices in Limerick, Offaly and Wexford we are able to provide the best support and service possible in Ireland.

Safety Ireland Accreditation:

  • Irish Heart Foundation  - IHF -  Approved Training Site.
  • Quality & Qualifications Ireland - QQI - Approved Training Provider.
  • Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council - PHECC -  Recognised Institution.
  • Institution of Occupational Safety and Health - IOSH - Licensed Training Provider.

    Safety Ireland First Response Limited, Registered in Dublin Ireland.
    Unit 52 Fortfield Park,
    Terenure,
    Dublin D6W PW14,
    Ireland.

    Phone: 01-44 22 999
    Callsave: 1850 555 999
    Email: info@defibtech.ie

    Office Hours: 9am till 5pm Monday - Friday

    Defibtech is a registered Trade Mark in Ireland number 242083 & 246780.

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    Every defibrillator is not the same. Defibtech units have the highest standard available FDA, ISO and CE certification, don't settle for second best. Always ensure that your unit is approved by the FDA who regulate the worlds largest medical device market, if the defibrillator you are considering purchasing isn't approved for sale by the FDA there is a reason, it didn't meet the highest standard.
    Free Approved Defibrillator Training
    With every defibrillator purchased you can have eight participants trained for free in our training centre in Terenure, Dublin. The training provided is to approved Cardiac First Responder and Irish Heart Foundation level and certificates are issued to each participant.
    Warranty
    The Defibtech AED has a full eight year warranty from the date of purchase. In the unlikely event that the unit requires maintenance you will have a new replacement defibrillator within one working day while the unit is checked and serviced. If you unit can't be fixed you will be issued with a new replacement defibrillator during the warranty period.
    Free Service Checks
    Every two years we can download the information from the location where the defibrillator is installed and do a free full service check this includes any software or protocols updates on the unit to assure you that your AED is ready to perform a rescue. Also anytime you can call into our office to have your unit checked for free.
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    If you ever need any assistance just call or email, we are here 24 hours a day to assist you our clients. Even if you need onsite support this is also available nationwide. We can assist you by running a manual self-test on the unit over the telephone.
    Medical Overview
    We can provide you with AED policies for your workplace or community group also after you use your defibrillator unit, if you require we will provide you with a free medical audit as recorded by the unit.
    Review Software
    The defibrillator records medical data internally, which can be accessed with the aid of our free software. An optional data card can be added to record both extended amounts of ECG data and audio for a full event review.
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    Many defibrillators are just for sale over the internet with no real offices based in Ireland. Call into us anytime and view and try our defibrillator products before you buy. You will me able to meet the staff and see the support that is available to you 24 hours a day nationwide.
    Downloads
    About Safety Ireland & Defibtech National Defibrillator Standards 2008
       
    Details about Defibtech Defibrillators A Study Of The Usability Of Five
    Automated External Defibrillators
       
    Details Of Storage Options For
    Defibrillators
    Frequently Asked Questions About AEDs
       
    Details Of Our Quality Assurance Report of the Task Force on
    Sudden Cardiac Death
                 
    Details Of Our Well-known Companies
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          Register Your Defibrillator
                 

     

     

     
     

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