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AED Program Saves Three Lives In Last Six Months

35 Blain's Farm and Fleet Stores Equipped with AEDs and More Than 200 Staff Trained To Respond to Cardiac Emergencies

JANESVILLE, Wis., Jan. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In the last six months, the trained teams of staff responders at Blain's Farm and Fleet retail stores located throughout Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin have saved three lives using an automated external defibrillator (AED) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Since 2007, 35 Blain's Farm and Fleet stores have been equipped with AEDs enabling more than 200 staff to respond to life-threatening cardiovascular emergencies. The American Heart Association applauds the team of lifesavers for leading the fight against heart disease, our nation's number one killer.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130110/DC40635)

"After losing an associate to a heart attack, putting AEDs in our stores and training staff in CPR was an easy decision to make. It was an investment we made hoping we would never have to use. Five years later, the tools and training are strongly in place and employees have saved three lives. It is a relief to know that, if needed, our team is prepared to respond," says Jane Blain Gilbertson, co-owner of Blain's Farm and Fleet stores.

Most AEDs are designed to be used by non-medical personnel such as police, fire service personnel, flight attendants, security guards and other lay rescuers who have been properly trained. Having more people in the community who can respond to a medical emergency with an AED will greatly increase survival for those suffering from sudden cardiac arrest.

"More than 160,000 Americans experience out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests each year.  Only an estimated six percent of them survive. American Heart Association research has shown that immediate CPR and early defibrillation using an AED can more than double a victim's chance of survival," says Kevin Harker, Executive Vice President for the Midwest Affiliate of the American Heart Association.

Marta Vogel, 61, was saved in October, after she experienced a heart attack at a Wisconsin Blain's Farm & Fleet store. Vogel was shopping with her two grandchildren and husband when she suddenly collapsed. Her husband immediately called for help and began CPR. Within moments, two employees responded and delivered her life-saving shocks with the onsite AED. Today, Vogel is recovering and recently spent the holidays celebrating with her family. Two additional cardiac saves occurred in stores located in Ottawa, Illinois, and Janesville, Wisconsin.

As the world leader in CPR, first aid and emergency cardiovascular care (ECC) training and education, the American Heart Association offers a variety of options to learn lifesaving skills. Choose from courses for family members and friends, employees or healthcare providers by visiting heart.org.

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