Doctors make hearty case for defibrillators

Local | Stella Wong 14 May 2019

Doctors ran with automated external defibrillators on their backs in a race yesterday to promote the importance of the devices during running competitions.

Over 2,000 runners participated in the event organized by the Hong Kong College of Cardiology yesterday. The race boasted the highest density of AEDs and cardiology doctors among similar events.

An AED station was placed every 350 meters along the track, and doctors carrying AEDs in their backpacks were running with other participants.

The college said cases of sudden deaths during running competitions may be due to insufficient knowledge about "hidden" cardiovascular diseases.

It said if runners can receive CPR and AED treatment immediately after cardiac arrest, it can increase survival rates by preventing hypoxia - the deprivation of oxygen to the brain that can lead to the death of brain cells - from happening. Studies also found that in the United States, only 10 to 20 percent of patients suffering from cardiac arrest in general situations can survive, while in running events, it can reach 30 to 90 percent.

"This shows that it is very important to have multiple AEDs in running competitions. It can effectively prevent tragedies from happening," the college said.

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