Every year, an estimated 340,000 deaths are caused from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Barbara Riegel, DNSc, RN, and associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing is the leader of an effort throughout the country to teach the proper use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to citizens like you and I.

Through this effort, she hopes to raise awareness and let everyone know that the advances in technology can now allow anyone to use the device safely.

“Historically, only physicians were trained in and allowed to use defibrillators,” she explained. “Now the technology has developed to the point that the machine reads the rhythm, so no one – not physicians, nurses, or lay people – needs to interpret the rhythm before using a defibrillator. These machines do it with excellent accuracy.”

With this said, are you prepared in case of an emergency? If not, it is never too late to learn the basics to be ready when needed.


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