Okinawa City second to establish AED network

Starting from January, a network of AED (automated external defibrillator) devices will be installed in 43 convenience stores throughout Okinawa City.

Okinawa city Mayor Mitsuko Tomon signed a memorandum of understanding of the project with three of the largest convenience store chains in Okinawa on Dec 26th. Okinawa City will be the second municipality after Naha to install the devices.

AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia, and is often able to jolt a stopped heart back to pumping through defibrillation. It’s a commonly used emergency procedure, and an application of electrical therapy, which can stop the arrhythmia, thus allowing the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm.

In Okinawa City the number of annual ambulance dispatches has grown to 6,906 in 2013, the last year being the highest on record. By installing AEDs in 24-hour convenience stores, it will be possible to administer emergency treatment to people who suffer a heart attack until an ambulance arrives saving critical time when immediate treatment of the patient is of outmost importance.