Ohio Turnpike to install life-saving equipment

| 12/17/2002

The Ohio Turnpike Commission is taking steps to help save the lives of travelers who suffer sudden cardiac arrest. About 250,000 Americans die each year from sudden cardiac arrest, according to the American Heart Association.

When a person suffers a sudden cardiac arrest, their chance of survival increases when defibrillation is performed.

When defibrillation is provided within five to seven minutes, the survival rate from cardiac arrest is as high as 49 percent, AHA says. Survival rates are as high as 67 percent when CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) treatment is given to a victim within five minutes.

To be prepared for such an incident, the OTC has purchased 18 AED units, which will be installed in the lobby area of each turnpike service plaza, next to an emergency phone.

"This new technology is life-saving equipment, and, when seconds matter, it can effectively bridge the gap until the local emergency responder arrives," Dan Castrigano, the commission's deputy executive director, said in a statement.

The commission says it plans to train all service plaza managers/assistant managers and other various employees. Service plaza restaurant vendors have also been invited to participate in the training.

The commission hopes to have the program up and running by March.