(Automatic external defibrillator)
Since May 1, 1999, Fair Lawn police
officers have been carrying a new piece of life-saving equipment - Automated
External Defibrillators (AED). The defibrillators, which the officers have with them
in their police cars, will be used to "jump start" someone's heart in the event
of cardiac arrest.
In the United States,
sudden cardiac arrest claims more than 350,000 lives each year. As the leading cause of
death in the U.S., heart attack and heart failure are major public health problems. Sudden
cardiac arrest in adults is frequently caused by ventricular fibrillation, an abnormal,
chaotic heart rhythm that prevents the heart from pumping blood. The most effective
treatment for ventricular fibrillation is defibrillation; delivering an electrical shock
to the heart with a device called an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
Studies have shown that when a defibrillator is
used within 5 minutes of cardiac arrest, the survival rate is 40 percent. But when the
response time is 9 minutes, survival rate drops to 5 percent. That means that a persons
chance of survival drops almost 10 percent every minute their heart is not beating.
Theres only a 5 - 6 minute window in which the shock of an AED is likely to be
effective in restoring the hearts rhythm. Getting the unit quickly to the people who
need it will increase their chances for survival.
Defibtech "Lifeline" AED is a
small, portable, easy-to-use, error-free machine. After
hooking up the patient, the AED will analyze the victim's heart rhythm.
If a "treatable" heart rhythm is present, it
directs the officer to deliver the appropriate shock
to the patient. It then assesses the rhythm
again. If electrical order has not been restored
to the heart, it directs the
officer to deliver a
second shock. The shocks last just milliseconds. The machine tells the operator when to
check for a pulse and if CPR should be continued.
September 2005, the
Fair Lawn Police Department received 10 automatic
defibrillators and carry cases (worth over $16,000.00)
through a grant by the New Jersey Office of Emergency Medical Services.