you will about government types, but in Pennsylvania, transportation officials
have plenty of heart.
Turnpike Authority recently announced that it has installed automated external
defibrillation (AED) units at all of its 21 service plazas and three administration
program, personnel at each of the locations have been trained to use the
devices, which can electrically correct a heart that is beating irregularly
or restart one that has stopped beating due to cardiac arrest.
cases, the defibrillators can mean the difference between life and death.
More than 600 Americans die due to cardiac arrest every day, the American
Heart Association reports. Few live unless they are resuscitated in the
first 10 minutes after an attack.
have already saved at least one life, a man who stopped at the Allentown
service plaza, according to a report from The Philadelphia Inquirer.
And they could be very important for truckers who use the rest areas in
are no scientific studies on how common heart problems are in truckers,
John Siebert, project manager at the OOIDA Foundation, has been collecting
information on the cause of truckers' deaths.
the reported deaths of members, heart attacks are by far the most numerous
listed,” Siebert said. Of the truckers included in Siebert's informal survey,
37 percent died as a result of heart failure.
greater use of the defibrillator units can change that figure is not known.
But Pennsylvania's program does put a life-saving device that can be used
by virtually anyone closer to thousands of truckers.
an employee of the Turnpike Authority who went through the AED training,
said the machine is simple to use and includes voice prompts that direct
people how to use the device.
through the training; it's about four hours long,” Agnello said. “It is
very easy, there's actually voice prompts on the thing that basically walk
you right through it. Somebody could actually run it that had never run
it before if you just remain calm and listen to what the voice prompt's
departments provide AED service to travelers through police and EMS,” Turnpike
Executive Director Joseph G. Brimmeier said in a statement. “But as far
as we know, we're the first transportation agency in the nation to install
defibrillators and train personnel at all service plazas.”
the Turnpike Authority announced the first of the machines on a holiday
with plenty of heart – Valentine's Day.
H. Reddig, associate editor
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.