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Airport Installs Second Defibrillation Unit
August 29, 2002

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Through a grant established by the Dakota Medical Foundation an automatic electronic defibrillator (AED) was provided to the Municipal Airport Authority for installation in the passenger terminal.

An AED is a small, portable device that analyzes the heart's rhythm and prompts the user to deliver a defibrillation shock if it determines one is needed. Once turned on, the AED guides the user through each step of the defibrillation process by providing voice and/or visual prompts.

AEDs are specially designed for easy use by a 'first responder', who would be the first person to typically arrive on the scene of a medical emergency. A first responder can be an emergency medical services worker, a firefighter or police officer, or it can be a layperson with minimal AED training.

Time to defibrillation, the most critical factor in sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survival, can be reduced if an AED is 'on-site' and can be brought to the victim quickly. This is one of the reasons that survival rates improve in communities with active AED programs. Every minute that passes before defibrillation reduces survival rates by 7-10 percent.

Recently, nine employees working in the passenger terminal received AED/CPR training. Additional training classes will be provided on future dates to other employees.

The American Heart Association estimates that at least 50,000 lives could be saved each year in the U.S. alone if more communities strengthened the chain of survival, including deployment of AEDs.

This is the second AED located the passenger terminal building and will be installed in the departure lounge. The first unit was installed at the base of the escalator in March 2001.


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