Immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) followed by defibrillation with an automated external defibrillator (AED) within six minutes offers victims of cardiac arrest a significantly increased chance of survival. To highlight the importance of an AED being within 6-minute reach, three runners in the recent 2019 Eindhoven Marathon (October 13, 2019) wore specially designed running vests each fitted with an integrated GPS tracker and a woven LED display. During the race, each time they came within 6-minute range of a community-based AED, the pulsating heart symbol on their running vest changed from red to green, with a continuously updated ‘time to AED’ display underneath it. Sponsored by Philips, the vests were part of a newly launched national AED awareness campaign aimed at making the Netherlands a more ‘heart-safe’ country.
In partnership with the Dutch Heart Foundation, Philips has set up BuurtAED, (NeighborhoodAED) – a crowdfunding platform that provides subsidized AEDs to local communities. At the beginning of October 2019, the Dutch Heart Foundation calculated that the Netherlands still required 5,000 AEDs to provide adequate national coverage. Philips is the global leader in AED technology and has been working with the Dutch Heart Foundation since January 2018 to improve the lives of cardiovascular patients and at-risk groups in the Netherlands.
Speaking on behalf of himself and the two other runners (Thijs van Keulen and Dennis de Knijff) who wore the ‘6-minute zone’ vests, Tim van Pelt said: “To keep fit, all three of us exercise a lot and have previously taken part in running competitions, but today it’s extra special to run in these LED vests for a cause so important as heart safety. No one is immune to cardiac arrest. Every year 17,000 people in The Netherlands suffer cardiac arrest outside hospital. For them, we want faster help to be offered."
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