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September 13, 2012

Royal Philips to Donate 1,000,000th Defibrillator to Rescue Unit

On the last weekend in August, 5,000 people in my hometown came together to learn how to do CPR to break the Guinness World Record. They didn’t succeed (they needed double that), but who isn’t relieved to know that there are now 5,000 more people in the world who know how to save a life when someone’s heart stops?

They also learned how to use automated external defibrillators (AEDs). Even I learned, though through the Red Cross in a much smaller setting.

Now, Royal Philips has announced it will donate the one-millionth HeartStart AED manufactured to Everett Mountain Rescue Unit (EMRU) of Snohomish, Wash., a volunteer search and rescue organization serving Snohomish County, Wash., also the location of Philips’ HeartStart headquarters.

An AED produces an electric shock to start the heart again. In 2008, 616,000 people died of a heart attack or stroke, and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in this country.

According to a company press release, the one-millionth AED “marks a major milestone in Philips’ more than 50 year legacy of cardiac resuscitation and innovations to combat the potentially fatal effects of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), a condition that claims the lives of approximately seven million people globally every year.”

Philips will also make AED donations to nine other local search and rescue organizations, including Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue and eight groups associated with the Washington Mountain Rescue Association.

“We pride ourselves on expanding public access to AEDs so that virtually anyone can have the power to help save a life,” said Mike Mancuso, executive vice president and CEO, Philips patient care and clinical informatics, in the press release. “Experts at Philips have worked with community-based early defibrillation champions and resuscitation health care leaders to drive early defibrillation program best practices, and have helped establish defibrillation programs at the top U.S. airlines and the nation’s busiest hospitals. We are dedicated to saving lives and overjoyed that so many HeartStart AEDs are now available across the globe for emergency situations.”

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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