Cardiac devices for the public could save lives

Many fatal heart attacks could have been avoided if Greece had followed the example of other European countries and set up Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) devices in public places, cardiologists told a press conference yesterday. Postal unionist Manolis Gourniezakis, who died of heart failure in an Athens hotel earlier this week, could have been saved if there had been a portable AED nearby, experts said. According to Athens University professor Dimitris Kremastinos, fatal heart attacks can be averted if the victim gets shock treatment from an AED within the first five minutes of the attack. Athens Airport is among the few public places in Attica to be equipped with AEDs, which come with recorded instructions for use. Some 2,500 fatal heart attacks occur in Attica every year, about 16 percent of them in public places.