Carlson Hotels shows its heart

uests at numerous locations of Carlson Hotels
Worldwide brands can rest a little easier knowing that Carlson has taken
substantial steps to help improve their chances of surviving a sudden
cardiac arrest (SCA).  Carlson Hotels Worldwide announced today that it has
completed installation of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at 21
owned and managed U.S. properties for Regent International Hotels, Radisson
Hotels & Resorts and Country Inns & Suites By Carlson.
The company has implemented a strategy to install LIFEPAK® CR Plus AEDs at
all of its owned and managed U.S. hotels.  Carlson is also encouraging its
licensed and franchised hotel owners and operators to install the devices at
their properties for its five hotel brands:  Regent International Hotels,
Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns &
Suites By Carlson and Park Inn hotels.  The AED program at the Carlson owned
and managed hotels provides not only for installation of equipment, but also
ongoing training and maintenance to ensure long-term use of the devices.
According to the device`s manufacturer, Medtronic Physio-Control, this is
the largest enterprise-wide AED initiative of any hotel company in the
world.

“We are truly honored to be part of such a life-saving initiative and
applaud Carlson`s commitment to the safety of its guests and employees,”
said Robert White, president of Medtronic Physio-Control.  “Not everyone can
be saved from SCA, but we do know that increased access to early
defibrillation can help save thousands of lives a year.”

Medtronic Physio-Control has designed its AEDs to be used to treat victims
of SCA and the devices have become sophisticated enough to be used by
minimally trained users.
“AEDs have become so easy to use that we feel it simply makes sense to
install them at as many of our hotels as possible to further ensure the
safety of our hotel guests and employees,” said Trudy Rautio, president of
Carlson Hotels Worldwide in the Americas.  “By installing AEDs at our owned
and managed hotels, we hope our franchisees will follow our lead and join in
the installation of AEDs at our other hotel properties to help increase
survival for our guests who are struck by SCA while visiting our hotels.
Before the AED installation, there was nothing we could do for a cardiac
arrest victim until Emergency Services arrives.  Now we have the equipment
to, hopefully, make the difference between life and death.”

Guests of some hotels within the Carlson portfolio, such as the Radisson
Hotel Cambridge (Massachusetts), have already experienced the life-saving
benefits of having an AED on the premises.

“We decided to purchase an AED for the Radisson Hotel Cambridge late last
year after losing a long-term associate to a heart attack,” said Jim Harvey,
general manager.  “On New Year`s Eve—shortly after the installation—an
elderly gentlemen went into cardiac arrest on the dance floor.  Because we
made the prior decision to install the AED, the device was deployed in a
timely manner and the guest`s life was saved.  We encourage all of our
fellow Carlson hotels to learn from our experience and install an AED before
it is needed by a guest or hotel employee.”
Every year, SCA strikes up to 450,000 people in the U.S. alone, and as many
as one million people worldwide.  Most of them will die, many of them
needlessly.
According to the American Heart Association, SCA survival rates decrease by
about 7 to 10 percent with every passing minute before defibrillation is
administered.
SCA is usually caused by an electrical malfunction of the heart called
ventricular fibrillation (VF)-an ineffective quivering of the heart muscle
that makes it unable to pump blood through the body.  Once the blood stops
circulating, a person quickly loses consciousness and the ability to
breathe.  Defibrillation is the only definitive treatment for this
condition.

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Unlike the models of defibrillators intended for use by healthcare
professionals, AEDs do not require extensive medical knowledge to understand
or operate.  The expertise needed to analyze the heart`s electrical function
is programmed into the device, enabling trained nonmedical professionals to
respond to cardiac emergencies.

The fully automatic LIFEPAK CR Plus AEDs, manufactured by Medtronic
Physio-Control of Redmond, Wash., provides clear voice prompts that instruct
the user to attach electrodes and then stay clear while the device analyzes
the patient`s heart rhythm.  If the AED`s computer algorithm determines the
patient`s heart is in a shockable rhythm, the user is again prompted to
remain clear of the patient while the defibrillation shock is delivered.

For more information on sudden cardiac arrest or automated external
defibrillators, visit www.aedhelp.com.
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