Shanghai has set up 372 automated external defibrillators (AED) to reduce deaths caused by sudden cardiac arrest. The city is also at work on a positioning system to help residents in need pinpoint the location of AEDs across the city.
Around 544,000 people in China die from sudden cardiac events every year, with a survival rate of less than 1 percent. The ability to receive an electric shock from an AED immediately following the event dramatically raises a patient's chance of survival. So far, however, fewer than 1,000 AEDs have been deployed in public areas nationwide, leaving access to the life-saving equipment sparse, Thepaper.cn reported.
"Compared to developed countries, AEDs are much less commonly used in China. The U.S. passed relevant laws in the 1990s to ensure public access to AEDs within 10 minutes. In Japan, 234.8 AEDs are available for every 100,000 people," said Su Zhuojun, secretary of the Red Cross Society of Shanghai Jiaotong University, in an interview with Thepaper.cn.
"By Japan's standards, there should be over 60,000 AEDs around Shanghai," an official from Tongji University added.
The cost of an AED is around 30,000 RMB, which makes it expensive to deploy the equipment on such a large scale. In addition, China lacks individuals who are trained on how to operate the devices.
In order to tackle the problems mentioned above, local government in Shanghai has been gradually increasing the number of AEDs in public areas around the city. The government in Shanghai's Pudong District plans to install around 800 AEDs in public areas by the end of 2018, and AED training is now being introduced at local universities.