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Success with Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

State: Michigan

Company: ArvinMeritor, Inc.

Industry: Automotive Supplier (SIC Code 3714/NAICS Code 336211)

Employees: 12,000 in North America; 31,000 Worldwide

Success Brief:

ArvinMeritor, Inc. is a market leader in supplying integrated systems and modules for passenger cars and light trucks. They have 150 manufacturing facilities worldwide. Many of these facilities are in very remote areas. After experiencing five sudden death cardiac arrests in the past years, ArvinMeritor, Inc., has begun implementing a Cardiac Arrest Response System (CARS) that includes placing Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in all 150 of the company's manufacturing sites worldwide.

The Problem:

Approximately 450,000 people die each year from sudden cardiac arrest in the United States. Throughout the years, ArvinMeritor's various facilities reported five sudden cardiac arrests. Early defibrillation is the only definitive treatment for sudden cardiac arrest. The best "save" rates have been reported when the electric shock is delivered within three minutes of the patient's collapse. The average response time for emergency services, however, is 10 to 12 minutes, which may not be fast enough for the patient to survive. Response time is a particular concern at the many ArvinMeritor facilities located in remote areas, where emergency services are further away.

The Solution:

ArvinMeritor has begun implementing a Cardiac Arrest Response System (CARS) that includes placing Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in all 150 of the company's manufacturing sites worldwide by the end of 2005. AEDs are devices that administer an electrical shock through the chest wall to the heart. Built-in computers recognize the heart's electrical activity and determine if an electrical shock is needed - and, if so, how much shock to deliver. Within each ArvinMeritor facility, AEDs are being placed in areas where a victim could be reached within three to five minutes.

Working closely with the American Heart Association, the Company also has implemented a training program for site coordinators at each facility on responding to cardiac emergencies and using the AEDs. The site coordinators will then train a minimum of five responders for each of the AEDs located in the particular facility.

The Impact:

Early response to an employee in cardiac arrest will greatly improve the person's chance of survival. Compared with the lives that could be saved by implementing this program, the cost of CARS is relatively inexpensive.


Michael Groh, manager, Corporate Health and Safety, ArvinMeritor, Inc.
(October 2004).

This success story was developed through the OSHA and American Heart Association (AHA) Alliance.

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