07 December 2012
An effective way to reduce risk of death from sudden cardiac arrest in a public building is to ensure people have access to the increasingly user-friendly automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) that are now available, which is why Auckland Airport has purchased 12 of them and positioned them strategically throughout both terminals.
Due to a number of factors, airline passengers are at increased risk of cardiac arrest and as Auckland Airport currently processes 14 million passengers a year, a number that is expected to rise by 4 or 5 per cent each year, it is an issue that deserves particular attention.
Unlike many public buildings, the airport has a highly effective emergency service team that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but the high number of medical calls and the number of, possibly remote, locations within the terminals in which a cardiac arrest could occur means that additional AEDs may play an important part in an emergency response.
The strategy is to ensure that no one is more than two minutes away from an AED and the placement of the 12 new units is based on the locations of emergency calls for chest pains or cardiac arrests over the past year, as well as an evaluation of where passengers and visitors gather in large numbers.
Training in how to use the units is being offered to anyone who is interested, but will be aimed specifically at staff who work in the vicinity of each of the AEDs. The Airport Emergency Services team will carry out regular checks of the units.