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FrontRunners: Take Heart

Marilyn Jackson

Offices, luxury sedans, yachts, and private jets may be filled with cutting-edge implements, but how many are equipped to save a person’s life following cardiac arrest? Pegasys (203.426.8186, www.cardiolifeline.com), a medical equipment company in Newtown, Conn., has introduced the Public Access Defibtech AED (automatic external defibrillator), a 4-pound personal defibrillator that just about anyone can operate. In the event of sudden cardiac arrest—which strikes at least 250,000 people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control—press the defibrillator’s main button, and a recorded voice offers instruction on how to place the unit’s electrically charged pads on the patient. The AED’s computer then analyzes the patient’s heart rhythm and delivers the requisite shock.

According to Pegasys, the YMCA/YWCA has already purchased 250 of the Defibtech AED for use nationwide and plans to buy more. The units are priced at $1,500. 

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