Untrained rescuers jolt movement for public defibrillators

Posted: Friday, October 18, 2002

BOSTON (AP) -- No medical degree? No job on an ambulance? No sweat!

A study suggests you can still operate the simplified defibrillators that many heart specialists want to spread around public places to revive people in cardiac arrest.

The first-of-a-kind research project found that passers-by, without any training, were willing and able to come to the rescue with defibrillators stationed in glass cabinets around three Chicago airports.

The study was published Thurs-day in The New England Journal of Medicine. Though several previous studies have examined the effectiveness of automated defibrillators in the hands of trained and designated staff members at casinos and other public places, this one is the first to evaluate their use by untrained passers-by in real medical crises.

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