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AED Program Up And Running

June 21, 2010, 5:16 PM by Kelli Grant

AED Program Up And Running
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in South Dakota. In fact, the latest report showed over 1,600 South Dakotans died from Heart Disease in 2007. That's nearly 24 percent of the population. Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs, are saving lives and one health system is working to get them into every single KELOLAND business.

They're small but powerful. AEDs are proven to save lives. But for two years, they haven't been widely available.

"For a period of time there, the FDA put a recall in the device. Not because there was a problem with the device itself but because they had a paperwork issue that they needed to work through," Education Coordinator at Avera Heart Hospital Kym Osterberg said.

Finally, the freeze was lifted earlier this year. A program at Avera Heart Hospital, in conjunction with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue, was able to get these machines into 200 businesses waiting for them.

"They provide them at cost. There's no profit to the hospital. It truly is trying to get the most defibrillators in place as possible," Osterberg said.

Since the program began seven years ago, schools, churches and businesses have taken advantage. A total of 1,000 AEDs have been purchased for a $1,000 each.

Osterberg says it's a tool every business should have, on every floor.

"Every minute that somebody is in sudden cardiac arrest, it reduces their chance of survivability by ten percent. So after two minutes of being down, you've lost 20 percent of your survivability options," Osterberg said.

And they're easy to use. Just push a button and it literally talks you through the lifesaving process.

"You don't have to worry about pushing to analyze and then pushing to shock with these automated ones," Osterberg said.

By calling 911 first and then starting CPR, this automated device can save your life. 

To get an AED, call the Avera Heart Hospital at 605-977-7000.

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