To help prevent deaths the Silicon Valley-based non-profit Racing Hearts will place 52 automated external defibrillators (AED) around the City of Palo Alto, specifically in high-risk places like libraries and athletic fields. The money for the AEDs came from the city council discretionary funds voted on in an April 2013.
These 52 should be installed by Fall 2013 (see illustration). All school sites should receive the AEDs by June 2014.
According to the American Red Cross, an AED is a small lightweight electronic device that senses an irregular heart rhythm "and then prompts the rescuer to deliver the shock simply by pressing a button."
Because AEDs have been proven to be safe, reliable and effective in the prevention of death from sudden cardiac arrest trained persons can use them to help a victim before paramedics arrive on scene, which according to the Red Cross take them between 8 to 12 minutes.
Since Racing Hearts is run by volunteers, they hope to encourage the community to consider making a small donation.
Look out for an AEDSpotter app to help locate and map local AEDs coming to an app store near you.
Editor's note: The article has been updated with a correction. Racing Hearts did not donate the AEDs. The money came from the city.