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Airport adds life-saving devices to help heart attack victims

2011/12/31 19:07:20

Taipei, Dec. 31 (CNA) Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport has installed 50 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to meet the emergency needs of travelers who experience sudden cardiac arrest, airport officials said Saturday.

The life-saving devices, introduced with the help of corporate sponsors, are part of the airport's efforts to enhance safety, the officials said.

Eight of the AEDs are in Terminal 1, 11 are in Terminal 2 and 31 are in air bridges, they said, adding that the airport will provide training to its staff to strengthen their skills in performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation and using AEDs.

The AED is an electronic device designed for use by non-professionals. It can detect heart rhythms and automatically administer electric shocks to restore a normal heart beat in cases of heart failure.

According to the Department of Health, hospital emergency rooms in Taiwan admit an average 20,000 cardiac arrest patients a year, with a survival rate of below 3 percent.

There is a 90 percent chance of reversing a cardiac arrest if the victim is given electric shocks within the first minute, but only a 50 percent chance if the procedure is performed within five minutes, officials said.

(By Bien Chin-feng and Y.F. Low)