Los Angeles Launches Citywide Program To Place Defibrillators in Public Places
In a move that will likely be watched by other cities, Los Angeles today will launch the "nation's largest citywide" program to place automated external defibrillators in public places, USA Today reports. Los Angeles officials plan to install 200 computerized defibrillators on public property by next year and will begin training the city's 40,000 employees to use them. Officials hope that the $700,000 program will encourage private businesses to develop similar plans. About 500 people die from sudden cardiac arrest in a public place in Los Angeles each year, according to Marc Eckstein, medical director for the city's fire department. Having a defibrillator on site could save as many as half of those people, medical experts say (Davis, USA Today, 1/17). Eckstein said that "hundreds" have been saved by the machines, which have voice prompts and computerized instructions for "would-be rescuers." Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn (D) said, "Often sudden cardiac arrest occurs in people with no prior (heart disease) history. It can be in a place like a gym or on a tennis court. If we make these devices available all over the city, we'll save lives" (Davis, USA Today, 1/17).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.