Dr Jeff Wassertheil, founding director of the Cardiac Arrest Survival Foundation.
In Australia sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death. Yet the precise number of people who die from SCA is not known, the nearest estimates ranging from 23,000 to 33,000 deaths per year. Prompt defibrillation increases the probability that people have of surviving a cardiac arrest away from a hospital. However, owing to ambulance response times, especially in built-up metropolitan areas, by the time that emergency defibrillation arrives it may be too late to save the victim as for every minute lost the chance of survival diminishes so that after ten minutes, in all probability, the SCA victim will die. Consequently, having a wide distribution of AEDs (automated external defibrillators) available for employees at workplaces and the public in general is essential to saving lives.