Healthcare: Medtronic in US defibrillator push

TEXAS: Medtronic is working with GCI Group on a campaign badged 'Keep the Beat' to boost people's awareness of how to cope with sudden cardiac arrest - one of the leading causes of death among adults in North America.

The company, which makes prescription device Lifepak, is undertaking PR activity at music events to boost take-up of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), which can be operated with little medical training.

Health information at singer-songwriter James Taylor's 30-city tour will promote the message that AEDs boost survival rates - from five to 74 per cent, according to a 2003 study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

The campaign also has a health policy aspect, as many states consider legislation to increase access to AEDs in public places such as airports.

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