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FOR RELEASE: July 8, 2003
News Conference Scheduled for Thursday
What: News Conference to announce a program to place Automatic External Defibrillators throughout rural Oklahoma to respond to sudden cardiac arrest.
When & Where: Thursday, July 10, 10 a.m.
Dr. Les Beitsch
Background: Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in North America. Oklahoma ranks second in the nation for cardiovascular disease deaths. For every minute someone is in cardiac arrest, that person loses 10 percent likelihood that they will survive. The key to survival is prompt defibrillation within a five-minute response time or less. As many as one-half to one-third of sudden cardiac arrest victims can be resuscitated in this window of time. The challenge is to assure that communities, especially rural communities with limited resources, have access to automatic external defibrillators. These defibrillators can be placed in 24-hour, radio-dispatched mobile units such as police, sheriff, and Highway Patrol units to improve emergency response. A new grant from the federal Health Resources Services Administration will fund the placement of 91 automatic external defibrillators throughout rural areas of Oklahoma.
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