According to a press release, Ernst & Young LLP, has purchased Medtronic's automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to treat incidents of sudden cardiac arrest at work. Ernst & Young has committed to installing Medtronic's LIFEPAK(R) CR Plus AEDs in its 95 offices in the United States.
"By agreeing to implement our LIFEPAK AED program, Ernst & Young becomes a leader in the professional services industry when it comes to improving the health and welfare of its employees," said Robert White, president of Medtronic's Emergency Response Systems business unit.
Although not everyone can be saved from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), studies show that early defibrillation can dramatically improve survival rates. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 15 percent of work place fatalities--more than 400 per year--are caused by sudden cardiac arrest. Of these victims, OSHA estimates that 160, or 40 percent, could be saved by defibrillation within five minutes. Every year, sudden cardiac arrest strikes up to 450,000 people in the U.S. alone. It generally takes six to 12 minutes for the average U.S. emergency medical services (EMS) team to arrive at the scene of a medical emergency. Survival rates from SCA decrease by about 7 percent to 10 percent every minute defibrillation is delayed.
"We see the implementation of LIFEPAK Heart Safe Solutions as a key component of our overall workplace safety initiative," said John Imhoff, Director of Firm Security at Ernst & Young.
In August of 2003, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) surveyed 400 of its members working in major corporations and businesses and found that 34 percent of those who have implemented an AED program have used their AED at least once to help save a life. The survey also showed that 66 percent of victims of SCA in the workplace were successfully revived.