VENTURA COUNTY: Advocates Push for Accessible Defibrillators
Advocates in Ventura County are pushing for public access to defibrillators -- suitcase-sized cardiac units that deliver electric shocks to restore a normal heart rhythm. Supporters are calling for the county to equip senior centers, government buildings, parks, and eventually police cruisers with the technology. County Supervisor Judy Mikels appointed a committee to look into the plan and determine how to pay for the defibrillators and the necessary operator-training courses. Each unit is priced around $3,000, but federal grants are available to offset costs. This "valuable little machine," if administered early, is the most effective treatment in preventing death from cardiac arrest -- saving an estimated 100,000 lives annually, according to the American Heart Association. County public health and emergency service officials are expected to report their findings to the Board of Supervisors in January (Saillant, Los Angeles Times, 12/13).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.