Often times in the case of cardiac arrest, police officers are the first to arrive on the scene.
And, in many cases, police officers do not have the one, inexpensive piece of equipment that can mean the difference between life and death when someone suffers cardiac arrest—an Automated External Defibrillator, or AED as it is more commonly known.
What is cardiac arrest?
According to the American Medical Association, cardiac arrest is the abrupt loss of heart function. This means that normal blood flow or any blood flow at all from the heart to the body ceases and can very likely result in brain damage or death if normal heart function cannot be restored within 10 minutes of cardiac arrest occurring.
In fact, the chance of a victim’s survival decreases by 7-10% for every minute the victim’s heartbeat goes unrestored to normal function.
So why is an AED important?
The shock the AED delivers can restore normal heart rhythm and get the necessary blood and oxygen to the body.
In short, if an officer, equipped with an AED, arrives on the scene of a cardiac arrest victim before paramedics (and this is almost always the case), the officer can administer the life-saving AED shock immediately upon arrival.
How real is the increased chance of survival?
Brookhaven police officers, who are not currently equipped with AEDs, have a target response time of 3 minutes and often times arrives on scene of a 911 call within 2 minutes or less.
This means that a cardiac arrest victim stands a 70-80% chance of survival if a Brookhaven police officer, equipped with an AED, arrives on the scene of a cardiac arrest victim.
Compare this with the 20-30% chance of survival if Brookhaven officers are not equipped with AEDs and a cardiac arrest victim has to wait 7 minutes for a DeKalb County ambulance to respond (average DeKalb response time published in 2012 AJC article).
It is sometimes hard to imagine a family member or friend being a victim of cardiac arrest. However, in the cities of Chamblee and Dunwoody, 7 lives have been saved in the last 4-5 years due to AED equipped officers arriving on the scene only minutes after cardiac arrest.
There is more good news.
You now have a chance to be a part of something that can save a family member or friend’s life.
The newly formed Friends of Brookhaven Foundation, a non-profit 501c (3) organization, has partnered with the City of Brookhaven to raise money to outfit all Brookhaven police cars and City facilities with AEDs.
Our goal? 64 AEDs.
Our timeline? By end of November 2013.
AEDs cost between $900 to $1200.
If history repeats itself, and it often does, your donation WILL save a life!
Please visit our website at www.friendsofbrookhaven.com or mail checks, payable to the Friends of Brookhaven Foundation to 3198 Silver Lake Drive, Brookhaven, GA 30319.
JD Clockadale, Vice President
Friends of Brookhaven Foundation