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FOR RELEASE: March 31, 2005
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Life Saving Automated External Defibrillators Ready for Distribution

The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Division of the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is scheduled to receive a shipment of Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) on April 1, for distribution to various organizations around the state. About 165 defibrillators will arrive, according public health officials at the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH).

“Cardiovascular disease continues to be the leading cause of death of Oklahomans,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Crutcher. “We hope that with the addition of these defibrillators, we can improve Oklahoma’s response time to cardiac arrests and help save lives.”

The Regional Councils of Government (COGs) used this year’s funding of $197,031 to purchase the defibrillators. During 2004, the EMS Division distributed 207 defibrillators to rural areas and in 2003, more than 120 were distributed in rural locations throughout the state.

Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in North America, killing one adult every one to two minutes. The key to survival is prompt defibrillation. Communities that reduce the critical interval from collapse to defibrillation ("call-to-shock" time) to five minutes or less can expect to resuscitate as many as one-third to one-half of sudden cardiac arrest victims found in ventricular fibrillation.

The EMS Division applied for a grant as the lead agency in a partnership with 10 organizations including the Oklahoma Association of Regional Councils, Oklahoma State Firefighters Association, Oklahoma Sheriffs Association, American Heart Association, Association of Police Chiefs, Office of Rural Health, and the OSDH Chronic Disease Service.

The click here for a list of the recipient organizations that are scheduled to receive the defibrillators in April.

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