AUSTIN (KXAN) - Automated External Defibrillators used to be found only in hospitals or ambulances.
Now the devices commonly called AEDs can be found in gyms, churches or any place you find crowds in case someone has a heart attack.
Eleven Austin groups now have AEDs because of a relatively new program through the Heart Hospital of Austin. The lessons this group is learning could be life-saving.
"We know that AEDs can save lives during cardiac emergencies," said David Laird, chief executive officer at Heart Hospital of Austin. "These AEDs and the education we are providing will have a direct impact on countless lives."
People from each group get training in adult CPR as well as education in how to use a defibrillator for three years.
Capital CDC was one of the companies chosen.
"We've had some folks in our company who have had some heart issues, so I always thought it would be good to have an AED on hand to provide that to our employees," said Thomas Braasch with Capital CDC.
The Heart Hospital of Austin hopes what these students learn through The Community AED Program will spread not only through the 11 groups, but out into the larger community..
So when cardiac arrest does happen, the chances of survival are much greater.
Doctors say they see more heart disease and cardiac arrest during the holidays because of the stress and the diets this time of year.
"The goal is to get the defibrillators out into the large businesses or places of worship where large gatherings of people are so that in the unfortunate event of cardiac arrest, the defibrillator will be available to resuscitate the person," said Dr. Paul Pagley with Heart Hospital of Austin.
The 11 entities with AEDs:
- Anderson Mill Baptist Church
- Austin Children's Shelter
- The Austin Stone Community Church
- Capital CDC
- Center for Child Protection
- Great Hills Baptist Church
- InterContinental Stephen F. Austin
- The Junior League of Austin
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, The University of Texas at Austin
- Our Lady's Maronite Catholic Church
- ZACH Theatre
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