Even though I am a trained professional, the Phillips HeartStart OnSite AED tells you what to do, prompts you and monitors the patient every two minutes to determine if a shock is advised, or if no shock is advised, instructs you to continue CPR,” said Christine. “It’s super easy, but it has to be ready: batteries in and pads in place on the AED. It also doesn’t hurt to have scissors on hand in the case you need to expose the chest to deliver a shock.”
Studies show that CPR plus defibrillation within 3–5 minutes of collapse, can produce survival rates as high as 48–75%.4 With the nearest emergency professionals 35- to-40 minutes away, Karen was fortunate to have an AED at the campground. The ambulance arrived and from the area hospital, Karen was life-flighted to Tucson.
Christine still keeps in touch with Karen. As a survivor, Karen says she doesn’t know how to thank Christine.
“I told her just keep living your life, and that I am thankful she survived,” Christine said.
Christine knows firsthand, how lucky Karen was to have bystanders willing to help and an AED at the RV park. Every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, the chances of surviving SCA decrease by 7–10%.3
After the incident, both the owner of the winery and bystanders said they had plans to buy an AED. Adds Christine, “I sure hope that RV parks, national parks and Harvest Hosts would consider having an AED on site, because these are places that can be remote and early defibrillation is key”.3