Lessons learned from Tim Russert's death

June 16, 2008 3:26:30 PM PDT
Every year more than 300,000 people die from cardiac arrest. About 400 of them collapse while at work like Tim Russert did.

Health experts estimate that about 40-percent of those, that's 160 workers, could be saved if they got defibrillation within three to five minutes.

It's unclear as to when Russert was treated. But automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, are in many public places---- like grocery stores,sports stadiums and schools. The number in workplaces is increasing.

Unfortunately, many workers may not know whether there's one at their job, or where it's located. "The more people that are out there and know how to use the training and the more AEDs that are accessible in the public, then the safer the community is going to be," said Steve Vetrana of the American Red Cross.

It's not clear whether Russert's co-workers had access to an AED. Statistics show if you wait for emergency crews to arrive, the chances of survival drops seven- to 10-percent with each minute that passes.

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