Maura In The News

Hennigan wants to know how many defibrillators in Boston
Thursday, July 22, 2004 - West Roxbury Transcript

Councilor Maura Hennigan called for a hearing to assess how many defibrillators are available in the city of Boston and to ensure they are in all first-responder vehicles as well as some designated areas. Defibrillators, which apply an electric shock to the heart, are the definitive survival treatment for a person experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.

Sudden cardiac arrest, which occurs when the heart starts beating chaotically and cannot send blood to the brain and other vital organs, accounts for approximately 300,000 deaths per year in the United States. According to the American Heart Association, a victim's chances of survival is reduced by 7 to 10 percent with every minute that passes without defibrillation, and few attempts at resuscitation succeed after 10 minutes.

Currently, the average response time nationally for emergency medical personnel equipped with defibrillators is 10 minutes, making access to defibrillators on-site or in first-responder vehicles (i.e., police cars, fire trucks, etc.) important.

"This is a life-saving issue," said Hennigan. "We know from the American Heart Association that early defibrillation within the first few minutes of sudden cardiac arrest can result in a survival rate as high as 49 percent. We owe it to the public to have this equipment available in all our first-responder vehicles as well as in designated areas."

The next step for Hennigan's order is to go before the city council and be referred to the appropriate committee to look into the issue by way of a hearing.

For more information or to be added to Hennigan's e-mail list and be alerted to the date of the hearing, e-mail [email protected] or call 617-635-4217.

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