September 8, 2015 – El Camino Hospital today commended Gov. Jerry Brown for signing Senate Bill 658 (Hill) into law, recognizing the life-saving importance of Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) and making it easier and less expensive for local governments, schools and businesses to install AEDs in key locations. The hospital also announced it contributed $22,000 to a collaborative effort with the Racing Hearts Foundation, Santa Clara County, the cities of Los Gatos and Campbell and two school districts which will place AEDs in public buildings and schools in Los Gatos and Campbell. This project is modeled after a pilot program proposed by Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, which last year installed 48 AEDs in Mountain View.
"Hanging an AED on a wall should be as common as installing a fire extinguisher, a first aid station or similar equipment designed to save lives and protect health in emergencies," said Tomi Ryba, CEO, El Camino Hospital. “Modern AEDs are safe and simple to use by nearly anyone, even with no prior training, and they can be purchased without a prescription. We are proud to support initiatives which help ensure that an AED is close by when seconds count to save a life. Having Senator Hill’s bill become law makes achieving that goal much easier.”
The new AED law, effective January 1, 2016, eliminates unnecessary and outdated requirements on those who voluntarily install AEDs, which play an important role in increasing survival and full recovery when used in cases of cardiac arrest. El Camino Hospital suggested changes to the law to Senator Jerry Hill, who gathered input and support from a broad coalition of health and business organizations and introduced SB 658 in January 2015. Assemblymember Rich Gordon was the bill’s principal coauthor.
“Lives will be saved in our community as a result of these collaborative local efforts and this new legislation,” said Senator Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. “I commend El Camino Hospital, Racing Hearts Foundation, Santa Clara County, our city governments and school districts, and County Supervisor Joe Simitian for installing more AEDs and preventing needless deaths.”
Only 10 percent of victims who suffer a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting survive. Among young victims, the survival rate is about 5 percent. (Source: AHA Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2014 Update). Sudden cardiac arrest kills nearly 1,000 people per day in the United States and ends the lives of 350,000 people annually. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere and at any age. The average response time for a 911 call is eight to 12 minutes. Each minute defibrillation is delayed, a person’s chance of survival is reduced about 10 percent.
El Camino Hospital’s $22,000 in funding will help pay for approximately 35 AEDs to be installed in city and school buildings, as well as police vehicles, throughout the Los Gatos/Campbell area. The hospital is the founding sponsor of the award-winning PulsePoint app that utilizes software connected to the 911 system to notify CPR-trained citizens on their cell phones if someone near them needs CPR, showing them the location of the victim and the nearest AED.
About El Camino Hospital
El Camino Hospital is an acute-care, 443-bed, nonprofit and locally governed organization with campuses in Mountain View and Los Gatos, Calif. Key medical specialties include cancer, heart and vascular, men’s health, mental health, neuroscience, orthopedic and spine, senior health, urology, and the first Women's Hospital in Northern California. The hospital is recognized as a national leader in the use of health information technology and wireless communications, and has been awarded the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center as well as three consecutive ANCC Magnet Recognitions for Nursing Care. To learn more, visit www.elcaminohospital.org.