BOTHELL, Wash., Sept. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI), a pioneer in developing treatments to combat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), today announced it will donate the one-millionth HeartStart automated external defibrillator (AED) manufactured to Everett Mountain Rescue Unit (EMRU) of Snohomish, Wash. EMRU is a volunteer search and rescue organization serving Snohomish County, Wash., also the location of Philips' HeartStart headquarters.
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The one-millionth AED marks a major milestone in Philips' more than 50 year legacy of cardiac resuscitation and innovations to combat the potentially fatal effects of SCA, a condition that claims the lives of approximately seven million people globally every year.[i] Philips will also make AED donations to nine other local search and rescue organizations, including Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue (SCVSAR) and eight groups associated with the Washington Mountain Rescue Association (WMRA).
"We pride ourselves on expanding public access to AEDs so that virtually anyone can have the power to help save a life," said Mike Mancuso, executive vice president and CEO, Philips Patient Care and Clinical Informatics. "Experts at Philips have worked with community-based early defibrillation champions and resuscitation health care leaders to drive early defibrillation program best practices, and have helped establish defibrillation programs at the top U.S. airlines and the nation's busiest hospitals. We are dedicated to saving lives and overjoyed that so many HeartStart AEDs are now available across the globe for emergency situations."Philips is the worldwide leader for AEDs, with a resuscitation legacy dating back to 1961. The introduction of the ForeRunner AED in 1996 was one of the main catalysts for the public access defibrillation movement that also included legislation to improve public access to AEDs in the U.S., Japan, France, the United Kingdom, Australia and many other countries. Philips has evolved its AEDs in response to the needs of the industry and its customers, and has continued to offer innovative solutions that reduce deployment time and are light, rugged and easy to use. "Most of the search and rescue organizations receiving the donated AEDs today have either never had one, or have earlier models, which were not built for extreme conditions," said Richard Duncan, operations leader with EMRU and flight paramedic with SCVSAR helicopter rescue team. "Our new Philips AEDs have a rugged, reliable construction, which will aid our rescues in difficult, outdoor conditions. Washington's mountains attract thousands of climbers and outdoor enthusiasts from around the world each year. The donation from Philips will allow us to serve them and the community more confidently than ever before." Nearly 300,000 lives are claimed each year in the U.S. from SCA, making it one of the leading causes of death in the country.[ii] In fact, SCA can happen to anyone, regardless of age or physical fitness and there are often no symptoms leading up to a collapse. The best chance of survival from the most common causes of SCA is defibrillation from an AED within the first few minutes of collapse.[iii] For every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, survival decreases by seven to 10 percent,[iv] making quick access to AEDs crucial in these emergency situations.