Philips gives millionth defibrillator to rescuers

BOTHELL — Philips Electronics donated the one-millionth HeartStart automated external defibrillator manufactured to Everett Mountain Rescue Unit on Sept. 12.

The one-millionth AED marks a major milestone in Philips’ more than 50-year legacy of cardiac resuscitation and innovations to treat the potentially fatal effects of sudden cardiac arrest, which claims the lives of approximately seven million people globally each year. Philips manufactures its AEDs in Bothell’s Canyon Park biotech corridor.

Philips gave 17 more AEDs to Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue and eight other groups associated with the Washington Mountain Rescue Association.

“We pride ourselves on expanding public access to AEDs so that virtually anyone can have the power to help save a life,” said Mike Mancuso, executive vice president and CEO of Philips Patient Care and Clinical Informatics. “Experts at Philips have worked with community-based early defibrillation champions and resuscitation health care leaders to drive early defibrillation program best practices, and have helped establish defibrillation programs at the top U.S. airlines and the nation’s busiest hospitals. We are dedicated to saving lives and overjoyed that so many HeartStart AEDs are now available across the globe for emergency situations.”

Philips’ introduction of the ForeRunner AED in 1996 was one of the main catalysts for the public access defibrillation movement that also included legislation to improve public access to AEDs in the U.S. and other countries. Philips has modified its AEDs in response to the needs of the industry and its customers, and has continued to offer innovative solutions that reduce deployment time and are light, rugged and easy to use.

“Most of the search and rescue organizations receiving the donated AEDs today have either never had one, or have earlier models which were not built for extreme conditions,” said Richard Duncan, operations leader with Everett Mountain Rescue Unit and flight paramedic with Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue’s helicopter rescue team. “Our new Philips AEDs have a rugged, reliable construction, which will aid our rescues in difficult, outdoor conditions. Washington’s mountains attract thousands of climbers and outdoor enthusiasts from around the world each year. The donation from Philips will allow us to serve them and the community more confidently than ever before.”

Nearly 300,000 lives are claimed each year in the U.S. from sudden cardiac arrest. SCA can happen to anyone, regardless of age or fitness level and there are often no symptoms before a collapse. The best chance of survival from the most common causes of SCA is defibrillation from an AED within the first few minutes of collapse.For every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, survival decreases by seven to 10 percent.

Philips provides resources and training so more mountain rescue volunteers can turn from a bystander to a life-saver by using a HeartStart AED. Philips also recently launched the Save Lives website (www.SaveLives.net), which helps inform people about SCA and empower them to act in an emergency. The site provides user-friendly information on how to use an AED and what to do if someone suffers cardiac arrest.