Your Health: Nov. 6, 2000

GOOD NEWS

SHOCK THERAPY Sure, portable defibrillators are designed to save lives, but put them in a public place, like an airplane or a casino, and survival rates soar. Reports show that in casinos the heart-shocking devices rescued 53% of people in cardiac arrest. On airplanes, where it's easier to confuse an unconscious passenger with, say, a sleeping one, they saved 40%. U.S. survival rates, by comparison, are a dismal 5% because of time lost waiting for the paramedics. The findings are so encouraging that doctors want defibrillators (cost: $3,000) to become as commonplace as fire extinguishers.

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