BOTHELL, Wash., Sept. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI), a pioneer in developing treatments to combat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), today announced it will donate the one-millionth HeartStart automated external defibrillator (AED) manufactured to Everett Mountain Rescue Unit (EMRU) of Snohomish, Wash. EMRU is a volunteer search and rescue organization serving Snohomish County, Wash., also the location of Philips' HeartStart headquarters.
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The one-millionth AED marks a major milestone in Philips' more than 50 year legacy of cardiac resuscitation and innovations to combat the potentially fatal effects of SCA, a condition that claims the lives of approximately seven million people globally every year.[i] Philips will also make AED donations to nine other local search and rescue organizations, including Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue (SCVSAR) and eight groups associated with the Washington Mountain Rescue Association (WMRA).
"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, 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 is the worldwide leader for AEDs, with a resuscitation legacy dating back to 1961. The 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., Japan, France, the United Kingdom, Australia and many other countries. Philips has evolved 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 EMRU and flight paramedic with SCVSAR 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 SCA, making it one of the leading causes of death in the country.[ii] In fact, SCA can happen to anyone, regardless of age or physical fitness and there are often no symptoms leading up to 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.[iii] For every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, survival decreases by seven to 10 percent,[iv] making quick access to AEDs crucial in these emergency situations.
Philips also provides resources so more people like the volunteers at SCVSAR and WMRA can turn from a bystander to a life-saver by using a HeartStart AED. In addition to professional training offered by Philips experts, Philips also recently launched the Save Lives website (http://www.SaveLives.net), which helps inform people across the world 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 is suffering from SCA.
The complete list of organizations receiving a Philips HeartStart AED donation includes:
- Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue (SCVSAR)
- Bellingham Mountain Rescue Council part of the WMRA
- Central Washington Mountain Rescue Council part of the WMRA
- Everett Mountain Rescue Unit part of the WMRA
- Inland Northwest Search & Rescue (INSAR) part of the WMRA
- North County Volcano Rescue Team part of the WMRA
- Olympic Mountain Rescue part of the WMRA
- Seattle Mountain Rescue part of the WMRA
- Skagit Mountain Rescue part of the WMRA
- Tacoma Mountain Rescue part of the WMRA
To learn more about Philips HeartStart AEDs visit http://www.philips.com/aeds.
About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people's lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2011 sales of EUR 22.6 billion and employs approximately 122,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter.
[i] Mehra R. 'Global public health problem of sudden cardiac death.' Journal of Electrocardiology 2007; 40 (6 Suppl):S118-22
[ii] Lloyd-Jones D, Adams R, Carnethon M, et al: "Heart disease and stroke statistics - 2009 update: A report from the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee." Circulation. 2009;119(3):480-486.
[iii] Cummins R.O., et al. Improving survival from sudden cardiac arrest: The 'Chain of Survival' concept. A statement for health professionals from the Advanced Cardiac Life Support Subcommittee and the Emergency Cardiac Care Committee, American Heart Association. Circulation 1991; 83:1832-1847.
[iv] American Heart Association Online. "Sudden Cardiac Arrest Advocacy." http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Advocate/IssuesandCampaigns/Sudden-Cardiac-Arrest---Advocacy_UCM_312652_Article.jsp. Accessed August 2012.
SOURCE Royal Philips Electronics