King County launches Shockingly Simple Campaign to encourage AED registration

June 4, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 2 p.m. June 4, 2012

King County public health officials launched a campaign Monday to encourage businesses and organizations to adopt and register automated external defibrillators — portable devices designed to use electrical therapy to treat people suffering from cardiac arrest.

The effort, called the Shockingly Simple Campaign, is meant to encourage AED owners to register the devices with the county. The registration allows 911 dispatchers to locate the nearest AED during emergencies.

“AEDs don’t work if we can’t find them, so after purchasing an AED it is absolutely crucial to register them through King County,” said Dr. Mickey Eisenberg, medical director for the King County EMS Division of Public Health – Seattle & King County. “Businesses and organizations should think of an AED as part of an office safety kit.”

AED owners can register the devices on the Public Health – Seattle & King County website.

Officials said fewer than 1,000 businesses and organizations countywide have registered AEDs.

In many cases, AED use is a cardiac arrest patient’s only chance for survival. Each year, more than 300,000 people in the United States die from sudden cardiac arrest, but studies show a 70 to 80 percent chance of survival if AED use occurs within minutes.

“It’s shockingly simple to restart a heart with an AED,” said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County. “We launched this campaign with the support of business and community leaders to encourage organizations and businesses to purchase and register AEDs, which have the potential to save lives.”

The campaign is part of a county observance of June as AED Awareness Month.

On June 20, the Shockingly Simple Campaign is scheduled to be featured at the Seattle Sounders FC home game against Sporting Kansas City, to show attendees the importance of buying and registering AEDs.

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