The Occupational Health & Safety Administration reports an estimated 460,000 people in the U.S. die of sudden cardiac arrest every year. Of those, nearly 10,000 are children and many have no prior sign of heart disease.
That is more than the number of people who die from guns, breast cancer, cervical cancer, motor vehicle accidents, Alzheimer's disease, suicide, prostate cancer, house fires and HIV - combined. However, having an Automated External Defibrillator nearby when someone suffers from sudden cardiac arrest can increase the survival rate by almost 70 percent. It's required equipment for firefighters and paramedics.
Nineteen states - including South Carolina - require it in schools. (North Carolina is not among those.) Some even require them in all government buildings, health clubs and other facilities, and "Good Samaritan" laws have been passed in order to protect people who try to use them on someone who may be dying in order to encourage swift action.The chance of survival declines 10 percent for every minutes defibrillation is delayed. Meanwhile, the average response times for first-responders is 8 to 12 minutes nationally.