About the HeartSAFE Berks County AED Registry™
The HeartSAFE Berks County AED Registry was born out of the vision in 2010 to populate AEDs where they are accessible to those who have a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The Friends of Reading Hospital and County of Berks came together to use this new technology to make the Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) throughout the county even more readily available to those who need it!
Sudden cardiac arrest occurring outside the hospital setting is a leading cause of death in the United States with about 350,000 victims dying annually. The most common forms of SCA are treatable with defibrillation: shocking the heart with electrical energy delivered by an AED. The most important variable impacting SCA survival rates is delivering the first shock within 4-5 minutes from the moment an individual experiences SCA.
AEDs are now commonly available in many private and public settings. Despite the rapidly growing number of available AEDs, and the need for AEDs to be retrieved and used rapidly, publicly available AEDs are rarely retrieved and used because bystanders can’t see them and 9-1-1 dispatchers are typically unaware they are nearby. Knowing AED location information enables 9-1-1 agencies to help someone like you use an AED to save a life. For this reason the HeartSAFE Berks County AED Registry and AED Link were created. This site is designed to help register and keep track of AEDs for this purpose.
About HeartSAFE Berks County
The goal of HeartSAFE Berks County is to improve the survivability of sudden cardiac arrest victims living and working in the county. We encourage citizens to get involved and be ready to use CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED) to save a life where they live, work, and play.
Chances of survival for anyone in our community increase to 30 to 70 percent when citizens act by using an AED on a victim within three minutes from the onset of a cardiac arrest. Action only results when AEDs are available for use, meaning that leaders in the community must take action to purchase AEDs and move to educate people about them. The Friends of Reading Hospital are here to support that.
What is a HeartSAFE Community?
A HeartSAFE Community means that all citizens of Berks County know the Chain of Survival for a victim of sudden cardiac arrest in the community. This includes:
- Calling 911 immediately
- Performing CPR
- Using a defibrillator
- Advanced emergency medical care