AEDs Can Save Lives When Every Second Counts

Northwestern Medicine
News May 30, 2012

Emergency RoomHealth emergencies can happen at any place, any time. While it’s impossible to anticipate these events, steps can be taken to prepare for unexpected health issues. One important way is to become CPR-certified, which can provide the proper tools and training to react in a situation where someone requires resuscitation. Even those who are not CPR-certified have the opportunity to help in a health emergency by learning to recognize and use an automatic external defibrillator (AED). These devices are found in many public places and can save a heart attack victim during crucial life-saving moments.

“An AED is a portable electronic device that uses an electrical current to shock a person’s heart back into a regular rhythm, and acts as a critical tool in heart attack response,” said George Chiampas, MD, an emergency medicine physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and co-founder of Chicago Cardiac Arrest Resuscitation Education Service (CCARE). “When every second counts, understanding how to use an AED can potentially save lives by allowing for the stabilization of a heart attack victim while they await medical care.”

Recently speaking with ABC-7 Chicago, Dr. Chiampas stressed the importance of having AEDS accessible and in trained hands when an emergency strikes. In Chicago, the devices can currently be found throughout the city including in Chicago Public Schools and at the airports.

Dr.Chiampas and students at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine are working to make Chicago an even more AED-friendly city by training the next generation on how to help heart attack victims. The medical students recently produced a training video targeted for middle school students that shows how to use an AED and stresses the importance of becoming CPR-certified.

“The reality is everyone needs to know how to use AEDs,” said Dr. Chiampas during his ABC-7 interview.

To learn more about AEDs, visit the CCARE

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