Statistics show that more than 200,000 Americans die of sudden cardiac arrest every year. Up to 50,000 of these deaths could have been prevented if someone had initiated the Cardiac Chain of Survival and if an automated external defibrillator (AED) had been available for immediate use. For every minute that passes before a cardiac arrest victim’s heart is defibrillated, chances of survival drop about ten percent.
Although the thought of cardiac arrest is always frightening, there is some comfort in knowing that if the situation occurs on an aircraft, an AED will certainly be available.
February 18, 2009 marks the 11-year anniversary of the first passenger whose life was saved by an AED on a commercial flight. On this day in 1998, a passenger collapsed while boarding an American Airlines flight. Doctors later told him that the heart attack would have been fatal if not for the combined efforts of the Flight Attendant, the AED, and a passenger who was an EMT.
In 2007 alone, Southwest Flight Attendants used the AED on more than 20 different occasions. Undoubtedly, the AED can make a difference in the lives of our Customers. You should feel confident knowing that our Company provides our Employees with the latest equipment and up-to-date training so that they can offer the best possible chance of survival to a Customer experiencing cardiac arrest.