Most dental offices are full of equipment designed to make your smile healthy while looking great! How many have life saving equipment as part of their inventory? The advances in medical technology are incredible! Nowadays anyone can save someone’s life. That was true for “The Biggest Loser” trainer Bob Harper. After Harper finished his regular work out, he dropped to the ground with what we now know as “widow-maker” heart attack. Harper said, “My heart stopped. Not to be dramatic, but I was dead. I was on that ground dead.” His coach and two others were able to perform CPR and use an automated external defibrillator, or AED machine, that likely saved his life!
This technology saves lives. The National Safety Council predicts that greater access to this machine could save up to 40,000 lives per year. Sudden cardiac arrest has a survival rate of 1% – 5%, but with an AED your chances of surviving are much higher. Having access to these machines is life changing and, many times, lifesaving. Each device, which costs, on average, more than $2,000, is equipped with a digital instruction screen that provides simple, step-by-step directions. “This is a serious matter of public health policy and similar to previous discussions about placing fire extinguishers near building exits, wearing seat belts while driving, or manufacturing cars with airbags,” says Dr. Myron Weisfeldt, the William Osler Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins and past president of the American Heart Association (AHA). Right now, Weisfeldt says, AEDs are used primarily by paramedics and emergency medical workers who have extended training in CPR. Often, he notes, bystanders first on the scene of an emergency are available to provide life-saving aid before ambulances can arrive which increases the likelihood of survival.
Dr. Steiner is proud to have this lifesaving technology available in his Meridian dental practice should the unthinkable occur. If you’re not a patient of Dr. Steiner’s, ask your current dentist if they have an AED available and if their staff are trained in its use. Bob Harper wouldn’t be with us today if this technology weren’t available on that fateful day!