Cedar Rapids police receive new lifesaving equipment - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids police receive new lifesaving equipment

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -- The Cedar Rapids Police Department has some new lifesaving tools thanks to some help from the St. Luke's Health Care Foundation.

The CRPD got 50 new automated external defibrillators (AED's) as part of the Heart Safe Community program.

According to Sgt. Cristy Hamblin, the new AED's, combined with the 30 they currently have, will allow the department to have them in all patrol cars out on the streets, some inside the station and will also make some available for use at special events.

Dr. Ryan Sundermann, medical director of St. Luke's Emergency Department, says, "Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S., yet many of these deaths are preventable.  Our goal is to make Cedar Rapids a Heart Safe Community by building a cardiac safety net for our residents and visitors."

According to the American Heart Association, more than 294,000 Americans experience sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital every year. 

The chance of survival more than doubles with the use of CPR and early defibrillation with an automated external defibrillator.

The American Heart Association estimates 20,000 to 100,000 lives could be saved each year with AEDs.

In fact, they say defibrillation within the first minute of sudden cardiac arrest can save the lives of up to 90 percent of victims.

Sgt. Hamblin says that the new units are the Cadillac of AED's compared to the ones they currently have.

The new AEDs provide clear voice instructions, analyzes the patient's heart rhythm and even delivers the defibrillation shock.

St. Luke's donated 20 AEDs to some of Cedar Rapids' largest public facilities in 2002 as part of the Heart Safe Community program.

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