FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – As we enter the height of air travel season, the American Heart Association is underscoring the importance of automatic defibrillators, or AEDs on planes and in airports.
Lawrence Franchetti, with the South Florida chapter of the AHA said the growing presence of AEDs in public spaces is increasing the rate of survival from cardiac arrest.
“The idea around an AED is to eliminate the fear factor you don’t need a physician, you don’t need a doctor to use it, we want any bystander to grab the AED, perform quick CPR., attach the electrodes to the body and allow the device to do the work. Put faith in the device to give a shock if needed, and if not, the device will continue to monitor the heart,” he said.
Franchetti said thanks to the presence of AEDs and bystander knowledge of CPR, air travelers have higher than average survival rates from cardiac arrest.
He said there are now efforts underway to create self-guided CPR kiosks at airports here in South Florida and around the country which give travelers a chance to learn how to save a life while waiting on their flights.
There are currently 115 AEDs at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and another 130 units at Miami International Airport.
Latino AIDS awareness
Friday marked National Latino Aids Awareness Day, which focuses on the need to curb HIV infections in this high-risk population.
Data from the CDC showed that in 2019 more than 10,000 Hispanic Americans were diagnosed with HIV which accounted for 28% of all new cases but only 1 in 4 patients who tested positive were aware of the medication PrEP, which can prevent transmission.
The data also showed that only 1 in 5 who were eligible for PrEP were referred to an appropriate provider.
One positive note: between 2015 and 2019, CDC data showed that the rate of HIV. diagnoses among Hispanic Women declined 7% and infection rates among Hispanic gay and bisexual men dropped 11%.