Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Roissy, France – Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI), a pioneer in developing treatments to combat sudden cardiac arrest, and Air France-KLM Group (Euronext: AF), one of the leading European air transport group, today announced an agreement to equip all KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Air France passenger flights with Philips’ market-leading HeartStart automated external defibrillators (AEDs). Sudden cardiac arrest leaves the heart unable to beat regularly, and it is only by resetting the heart’s rhythm with an electric current, delivered by a defibrillator, that a normal heart rhythm can be regained.
Philips will serve as the preferred supplier of AEDs to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Air France, replacing the defibrillators currently on board. KLM will also install the Philips HeartStart FRx AED on its Transavia passenger flights. All flight crews will be fully trained on the new device.
The HeartStart FRx AED has been tested and certified for airline use and does not interfere with airplane electronics. Rugged and durable, it features clear audio instructions for both guided use and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) coaching in addition to intuitive icon-driven operation for ease of use. Its unique infant/child mechanism, which is an easy-to-use key, turns the HeartStart FRx into a pediatric defibrillator, offering the potentially life-saving simplicity and versatility of being able to use the same set of pads on adults, children and infants.
“This product is the result of 50 years of innovation in cardiac resuscitation and sudden cardiac arrest technology at Philips,” said Mike Mancuso, CEO Patient Care and Clinical Informatics at Philips Healthcare. “As the global leader in this market, we are committed to doing everything we can to help travelers survive a sudden cardiac arrest while in the air or at the airport. Philips is perfectly positioned to establish complex cross border defibrillation programs for large multinational organizations, and we take pride and comfort in knowing that by expanding public access to AEDs, lives will be saved.”
It is estimated that every year, sudden cardiac arrest claims the lives of approximately seven million people globally.¹ Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, regardless of age or physical fitness, and there are often no symptoms leading up to a collapse. The best chance of survival from the most common causes of sudden cardiac arrest is defibrillation from an AED within the first few minutes of collapse.² For every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, survival decreases by seven to 10 percent,³ making quick access to AEDs crucial in these emergency situations.
Philips AEDs are used by more than 91 airlines and 195 airports around the world. The first AED ever installed by a U.S. carrier was a Philips device. Recently, Philips donated its one millionth AED to a volunteer search and rescue organization in the U.S. To learn more, please visit http://www.philips.com/aeds.
¹ Mehra R. ‘Global public health problem of sudden cardiac death.’ Journal of Electrocardiology 2007; 40 (6 Suppl):S118-22
² Cummins R.O., et al. Improving survival from sudden cardiac arrest: The ‘Chain of Survival’ concept. A statement for health professionals from the Advanced Cardiac Life Support Subcommittee and the Emergency Cardiac Care Committee, American Heart Association. Circulation 1991; 83:1832-1847.
³ American Heart Association Online. “Sudden Cardiac Arrest Advocacy.” http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Advocate/IssuesandCampaigns/Sudden-Cardiac-Arrest---Advocacy_UCM_312652_Article.jsp. Accessed August 2012.