Minutes count when a person suffers a heart attack. Knowing what to do before rescuers arrive can make the difference between life and death.
Sentara Healthcare is the sole health care provider in Virginia participating in an international trial, which offers heart attack survivors life-saving Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) right in their homes. Currently located in airports, shopping malls and other public places, through this trial AEDs are now one step closer to heart patients.
With the expectation of identifying the better of two emergency treatments for patients undergoing sudden cardiac arrest-either administering CPR or using an AED-Sentara researchers are participating in a trial known as the Home AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) Trial or H.A.T. Sponsored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), the 7-year study is expected to enroll up to 7,000 patients. Enrollment is ongoing, and to date, about 20 Hampton Roads patients are participating.
How It Works
Once a patient meets the trial criteria, he or she is randomly assigned to one of two groups. In one group, a patient's family member is trained to use an AED and given one for their home; in the other group a family member is trained to administer CPR. Outcomes and information are tracked for both groups, and findings from the trial will be available from NIH.
Participation in the trial is voluntary and absolutely free. Patients who have already sustained a heart attack qualify for participation if a live-in family member is willing to either be trained to use the AED or administer CPR in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest emergency.