AED defibrillators hope to cut down cardiac deaths - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

AED defibrillators hope to cut down cardiac deaths

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death here in the U.S. On average less than 10 percent of victims survive. AED devices are all around us, but do you know how to use them? An app on your phone is trying to make sure you do.

Every year more than 350,000 people die from sudden cardiac arrest. Three quarters of those happen in the home, but nearly a fifth happen in places like schools, malls, airports and sporting events. The American Red Cross says that better training and access to AEDs, or automatic external defibrillators, could save 50,000 lives a year.

AEDs detect abnormal heart rhythms during a cardiac event and administer effective treatment for restoring regular heart rhythm during sudden cardiac arrest. Paramedics say the most difficult part is having the courage to use one.

So where are they?

We took a walk around downtown Spokane to find out, with the help of an app called PulsePoint. Working with the Spokane Fire Department, it maps out exactly where defibrillators are, and how close you are in case you ever need to use one.

Immediate CPR and early defibrillation with an AED can more than double a victim's chance of survival. If a person is shocked within the first minute of collapse, chances of survival are close to 90 percent. During a cardiac arrest each moment is vital. Every minute without defibrillation, your chances of survival drop 10 percent. Knowing where an AED is and how to use it, could mean the difference between life and death.

If you want to find out where AEDs are around you, you can download the PulsePoint app here.

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