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Statistics show that over 250,000 people die each year from heart attacks outside of hospitals. Many residents of West Palm Beach have elderly family members or are elderly themselves, and are therefore more susceptible to heart attacks than the general population.

Those who survive public heart attacks often have their life saved by an AED machine. An automated external defibrillator delivers a shock to the chest after measuring the pulse to see if ventricular fibrillation is taking place. Not all heart attacks are caused by ventricular fibrillation, but studies show that most public heart attacks are. For this reason, AED machines in public places can save lives.

It is important for Florida residents to plan ahead and know what to do in case you or a loved one has a heart attack in a public place.

  1. Call for medical attention. If you are having a heart attack, get help from a friend, a family member or someone passing by, and ask them to call for medical attention. If a loved one is having a heart attack, call for medical attention immediately.
  2. Look for an AED. Check for a brightly colored object mounted on the wall, near an entrance or exit. In 1997, the state of Florida mandated that an AED be present and marked clearly in all public places that elderly people tend to visit. These include casinos, stadiums, golf courses, and shopping centers.
  3. Remove the defibrillator from the wall mounting. This will create an alarm, alerting staff that someone with CPR training is needed.
  4. Find someone with CPR training. Most public places have staff on-hand that are certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. A CPR-trained individual may attempt manual resuscitation (clearing the victim’s airways and pumping the chest) before using an AED.

Have you or someone you love suffered a heart attack in a public place that did not have an AED machine present? If the heart attack could have been treated by an AED machine, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Florida heart attack injury lawyer Craig Goldfarb to set up a free consultation.

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