Automated External Defibrillator

Sanjay, 36, was playing badminton in his office sports complex. All of a sudden he collapsed. His friends clueless of what could have happened to him, decided to take him to the hospital just 5 minutes away from there. No time was wasted, yet he was declared ‘brought dead’ in hospital! A seemingly healthy young man, having a good game; all over with a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)!Let us rewind the scenes and assess what could have been done to save the young man. Could Sanjay’s friends have saved him even though they were no doctors? Was it possible to give Sanjay some kind of aid while he was being transferred to hospital? The answer to both questions is YES!


First and foremost, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) procedure should be carried out on the person who collapsed. CPR alone is unlikely to restart the heart. In addition to this “a life saving aid” that is required is the Automated External Defibrillator (AED). An AED can help save a life with the press of a button if used within the first 4 to 5 minutes of collapse of the victim. It is programmed to send an electric shock to the heart (called defibrillation) to restore its normal rhythm. If administered at the right moment it can bring a person back from the verge of death.

Sanjay would have survived the attack if only his office had shown some foresight and installed some AEDs in their building and sports complex!


PHILIPS Innovation Centre (PIC) has launched AED, which is a portable device designed in such a manner that it is simple to use even by a layman. It has simple audio and visual commands, and is easy to operate. I was at the recently held “detailed demonstration of AED” by PIC at their campus. I think it is a great initiative on PHILIPS’ part to spread awareness “on managing SCA”  with AED and thus save precious lives.

Statistics show that today’s youth are increasingly prone to SCA. More than 660,000 deaths occur every year in India alone as a result of SCA. The reasons for this situation range from inherited genes to sedentary lifestyle and more. The threat is there for us to see and there is also the uncertainty who will succumb where and when! Under such circumstances it is best to be prepared to face the emergency.

Fig. below shows India is under equipped of such a crucial life saving device. There is one AED for every 2.4 lakhs people!

An AED should therefore be made a vital part of first aid box. It should be installed in all public buildings like airports, railway stations and bus stations, in shopping malls, offices and sports complexes. Common man should be made aware of the usage of this equipment through advertisements and film shows in halls, newspapers and hand pamphlets.

Sept 29th is World Heart Day! 
Spread the awareness of this life saving device and 
do your bit to save lives! 


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