"We plan to install over 950 portable devices termed automated external defibrillators in major metros across the country for early diagnosis of a cardiac arrest and immediate treatment to save life," Philips Healthcare senior director Jitesh Mathur said in a statement here.
The city-based subsidiary of the Royal Philips Electronics India has recently installed 500 devices at the Emergency Management and Research Institute in Chennai, supplied 300 devices to the Tamil Nadu government and 50 to major domestic airlines.
"We plan to install 100 such devices at the Mumbai airport by this year-end. The device can be operated by anyone without formal training as they are equipped with audio and visual instructions on how to use them," Mathur said.
According to a company's study, about 660,000 deaths occur every year in India due to sudden cardiac arrest and absence of emergency medical services to diagnose and treat it in time.
"The sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death and accounts for more than 50 percent of cardiovascular fatalities in our country. If the device is used to detect the symptom within the first four-six minutes, many more lives can be saved," Mathur arrested.
Noting that long working hours, hectic lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits lead to sudden cardiac arrests, Mathur said the symptom was not related to age, gender, heart ailments and family history, as evident from increased incidents of cardiac deaths even in women and children.
"Reaching a hospital in the golden hour or getting a well-equipped ambulance within 10 minutes of suffering a sudden cardiac arrest remains a challenge. Access to the automated external defibrillators in public places becomes vital to save a life," Mathur pointed out.
Echoing Mathur, Max Hospital senior consultant Vijaya Reddy said a device like the automated external defibrillators and cardio pulmonary resuscitation can save lives to a large extent if they are made available in public places.
"Though availability of the device in aircraft and at airports has become mandatory, they are yet to be made compulsory in metros, malls, cinema halls and even ambulances," Reddy observed.
The company has designed a special initiative 'Save Lives' to raise awareness on the life-saving capacity of every citizen when provided access to its device.
--IANS (Posted on 26-09-2013)