They’re simple to make use of and extremely efficient after they’re obtainable. But some downtown D.C. blocks have extra of them than whole neighborhoods east of the Anacostia. District leaders are hoping to alter that.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and members of D.C. Fire and EMS need AEDs to be extensively distributed within the District. (WTOP/John Domen)

They’re simple to make use of and extremely efficient after they’re obtainable. But some downtown D.C. blocks have extra of them than whole neighborhoods east of the Anacostia. District leaders are hoping to alter that.

If somebody goes into cardiac arrest, the distinction between dying and surviving might be an AED machine — an automatic exterior defibrillator.

Mayor Muriel Bowser went to Anacostia to tout the city’s new AED rebate program.

“The program, which we’re calling the AED incentive program, will probably be open to small companies, locations of worship, small-unit condo buildings and nonprofit organizations,” Bowser mentioned. Those which are eligible should purchase an AED after which apply for a rebate price as much as $400, which is about half the price of an AED. Multiple purchases can result in a $750 rebate.

Citywide, the survival charge from cardiac arrest is above the nationwide common. But the numbers additionally present a noticeable racial disparity.

“The survival charge from cardiac arrest amongst African Americans is lower than half that of whites,” mentioned Dr. Robert Holman, the medical director for D.C. Fire and EMS, including that a number of the distinction in AED use is “merely on account of entry.”

“Back in 2018, we found that within the three ZIP codes the place 57% of that 12 months’s out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurred, there have been solely 19 publicly registered AEDs, whereas on the similar time in downtown D.C., in a business space on a single block, there have been 32,” Holman mentioned. Those ZIP codes have been 20019, 20020 and 20032.

Holman mentioned somebody in cardiac arrest who will get each hands-only CPR and an AED is eight occasions extra prone to stroll out of a hospital than when that doesn’t occur.

While this program is open to any eligible group all through the town, the District will probably be pushing this program particularly arduous in neighborhoods east of the river to assist scale back that racial disparity.

“We all have to work collectively to extend bystander CPR, and using AEDs,” mentioned Holman. “Be prepared to save lots of your neighbor’s life.”

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