Howard County Blog

A Blog on what is going on in Howard County

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

From Heart Attacks To Hurricanes: GET PREPARED

The April 6th, 2006 issue of the Howard County Times contains an article entitled “Defibrillators are Increasingly Standard Issue”. This article relates how an “untrained civilian” saved a life.
As Howard County paramedic Tim Hann rushed to a cardiac arrest call March 18 at the Ellicott City Veterans of Foreign Wars post, he encountered an unusual situation - an untrained civilian already applying emergency medical care with a defibrillator.

Donna Melzer, the canteen manager at the VFW, had placed an automated external defibrillator, or AED, on the patient's chest, an action that would save his life.

As Hann neared the patient, the defibrillator sent an electric shock through his chest, activating his failing heart.

Within minutes, the man was conscious, breathing and talking normally. Fire officials took him to Howard County General Hospital, Hann said.

Donna Melzer is to be congratulated. Her quick action saved a life.

However, dear reader, what would you do? Would you have had the composure of Donna Melzer to follow the necessary steps to save this person? And what will you do if there is not an AED around to use? What if a person isn’t having a heart attack, but is bleeding severely, do you know what to do? And here is a bigger question. What will you do if you are involved in an emergency that is greater than just one person? Let’s take a random example, Katrina? Are you prepared?

This is where I get on my “soapbox” and ask you to do two things before summer.

First, take a CPR class and a First Aid class. The easiest place to do it is through the Central Maryland Chapter of the American Red Cross. They can teach you CPR with or without the AED instruction. And they can teach you Basic First Aid in an evening. It is fun, informative, and easy. And the life you save might be someone you love.

Second, hurricane season starts June 1st. The National Weather Service has forecast a hurricane season as bad as or worse than last year. In addition, the probability of the East Coast getting hit with a hurricane is high. So GET PREPARED. If you don’t know how, you can check out the American Red Cross National website. It is a good place to get information on how to start preparing. You can also check the FEMA site. DO IT NOW, don’t wait. You may save your own life. If you don't believe me, go to Louisiana. I have, and it is not pretty.


Blogger DefibrillatorHub said...

I recently published an article on AEDs – here is a quote from it, in case you are interested:

Statistics give us more and more pieces of information that are bound to worry us, to make us react and change something if we can. More and more people and in earlier and earlier stages of their life die of a heart disease. Statistics, only in the US, are extremely alarming:
- Every 30 seconds someone dies because of a heart disease;
- More than 2.500 Americans die daily because of heart diseases;
- Every 20 seconds there is a person dying from a heart attack;
- Each year 6 million people are hospitalized because of a heart disease;
- The number 1 killer is a heart disease.
Although AEDs are not a universal panacea for all heart diseases, nothing else can compete to its major feature, that of actually re-starting the heart after it has been stopped by a sudden cardiac arrest. Under these circumstances is it necessary to ask you why anyone in this world, any family, in any home would hope for having such a device in their first aid locker?

If you feel this help, please drop by my website for additional information, such as Public Access Defibrillatio PAD or additional resources on AED manufacturers such as Philips defibrillators, Zoll AEDs or Cardiac Science AEDs.



4:33 PM  

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