Access to defibrillator makes difference between life, death

Automated external defibrillators increase chance of surviving cardiac arrest in public place


DETROIT – You have probably seen an automated external defibrillators or AED stored in schools, gyms and inside local businesses.

Having an AED available and using it dramatically improves someone's chance of surviving cardiac arrest.

Experts say if a defibrillator is used on a person after cardiac arrest the chance of survival is about 40 percent compared to just five or ten percent without the use of an AED.

Ronnie St. Charles is part of that fortunate 40 percent.

As the health and safety director for Ogihara Stamping in Howell, he bought an AED for the company's 350 workers.

But, it was his life that was saved when St. Charles suffered a heart attack on the job.

"There's no words I can say except thanks," said St. Charles.

Automated external defibrillators have recently been used to save the life of a shopper at Hiller's in Ann Arbor and the life of a postal worker in Richmond.

And, a man was saved with an AED while attending a hospital lecture on cardiac health, believe it or not.

As St. Charles discovered, having access to an automated external defibrillator may make the difference between life and death.