CINCINNATI -- A Cincinnati community has teamed up with Christ Hospital to make a life-saving difference for people who face cardiac arrest.
Time is critical when a person goes into cardiac arrest, and the Norwood community and Christ Hospital team feels quicker access to an automatic external defibrillator (AED) can keep the victim alive.
More than 300,000 people die from cardiac arrest each year. By working together to add AEDs to more spots around town, Norwood and the hospital believe people will have a better chance of reaching help during an emergency.
Keith White of Anderson Township knows firsthand that when the heart stops, seconds count.
"I had no signs, symptoms or warnings," he said. "I went to church, Immaculate Heart of Mary's 60th anniversary dinner dance and just collapsed."
White suddenly found himself in cardiac arrest, and remembered the church had recently purchased an AED. A man from his church thought quickly and grabbed the device.
"He opened it up and put the pads on and shocked me and then I got up and I was alive," White said.
The initiative from Norwood and Christ Hospital is the AED Link network, which uses a smarthpone's app. A business that has an AED registers the device with the app, and if someone needs an AED, the app directs them to the closest device.
"The AED Link system can possibly get help more quickly than our medical service might be able to arrive, Norwood police officer Ronald Murphy said. "With cardiac arrest, the quicker you get someone there to assist, the better for the person, obviously"
The partnership only includes Norwood and Christ Hospital, but the duo hopes others will get involved.
In the meantime, when an emergency call reaches Norwood's 911 center, dispatchers can use AED Link to steer the caller towards the nearest AED.