NORWALK, Conn. -- The New Canaan Fire Department and St. Aloysius Church both recently received an automated external defibrillator, a measure that can help save someone who suffers a cardiac arrest.
The AEDs from Norwalk Hospital were gifts of Thomas Ayoub, M.D., Chief of Medical Staff, and his wife Christine Dombrowski, a certified nurse midwife. Their son Peter Ayoub is a volunteer firefighter with the New Canaan Fire Department.
AEDs are portable electronic devices able to treat life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias through defibrillation, the application of electrical therapy to stop arrhythmia and allow the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm.
Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the United States affecting almost 400,000 people a year, according to Matt Soicher, director of EMS at Norwalk Hospital.
It can happen anywhere and to people of all ages. The survival rate of cardiac arrest is lower than one in 10 people.
They occur when the heart's electrical system malfunctions. this results in very irregular and potentially fatal heart rhythm.
A person's chance to survive cardiac arrest is "greatly" impacted by using AEDs and performing CPR immediately, according to the release.