year, more than 23,000 New Jersey citizens die from sudden cardiac
arrest, and when the condition strikes, seconds can mean the difference
between life and death. But thanks to a portable device - an automated
external defibrillator (AED) - everyday people who receive certified
training can save lives.
deliver an electric shock to the body, restoring the heart's normal
rhythm. Immediate use of an AED in conjunction with cardiopulmonary
resuscitation (CPR) can save an estimated 50,000 lives every year.
Jersey Acting Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, Clifton
R. Lacy, M.D., encourages increased public training in the use of
quick response to a cardiac arrest using a defibrillator and cardiopulmonary
resuscitation gives cardiac arrest victims the best chance for survival
and a complete recovery," said Acting Commissioner Lacy. "New
Jersey business and organizations can have their employees trained
in these areas through programs offered by groups such as the American
Red Cross. It's an investment that can save lives."
this year, a new piece of legislation required placement of AEDs
in all New Jersey state buildings. The Department is currently formulating
guidelines for the placement and usage of defibrillators in state
are programmed to evaluate a heart rhythm and deliver an electric
shock when certain life-threatening arrhythmias are detected. First-responders
such as EMTs, firefighters and police are trained in use of AEDs.
The public's use of defibrillators has greatly increased in the
last decade. In the 1990s, the American Heart Association created
the Public Access Defibrillation Initiative, which led to the development
of the portable AED. The initiative's goal was to place AEDs in
strategic public places so laypersons with minimal training could
properly defibrillate people with cardiac arrest.
technology has made AEDs more user-friendly, there is now broader
use of these devices by the public. The new AEDs provide both voice
and visual prompts that lead users through each rescue step.
Lacy also issued these reminders on maintaining a healthy lifestyle
to prevent heart attacks and other heart diseases: Don't smoke,
exercise regularly, have your blood pressure checked and keep your
cholesterol level under control.
more information on heart disease and other health issues, see the
Department's website at www.state.nj.us/health.