Friday, April 21, 2006

Another Needless Death...

I saw this story on about a 57 year-old defense lawyer with known heart disease who died suddenly while trying a case in a county courtroom. He probably died of a rapid heart rhythm that comes on suddenly and unexpectedly in some people with heart problems. A shock to his heart using an automatic external defibrillator (AED) likely could have helped revive him. But no defibrillators were on site. Presumably, no first responders, like police, had them either. And the saddest thing: this happens about 450,000 times per year.

Communities would be wise to consider placing defibrillators in the back of police squad cars, since there are typically many more police officers than paramedics or firemen on the publics' payrolls. Often, they respond before paramedics to similar incidences and on occassion (as in cases like this), have the ONLY defibrillator available. Illinois offered a grant in 2001 to MANY communities in our state (tho' we could still use more), but the need is still great throughout other communities in America. And remember, about 20% of sudden death survivors are under 18 years of age! (This is not just for "old" people!! For instance...'Commodio cordis' a rare but real cause of sudden death due to blunt trauma to the chest, seen most often in baseball players.)


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