All Beijing subway stations to have AEDs over the next year

Beijing is going to equip the city's all subway stations with first-aid devices automated external defibrillators (AEDs) by the end of 2022, the municipal transport and health authorities jointly announced on Tuesday.

The installation started Tuesday and by the end of this year, at least 104 stations on seven subway lines in the Chinese capital will be equipped with the AEDs. And by 2022, at least 80 percent of the subway station's staff members will be properly trained for using the AEDs, according to Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport and Beijing Municipal Health Commission.

AED is a type of medical device that can analyze heart rhythm and deliver an electrical shock if necessary, to help a person suffering sudden cardiac arrest restore effective rhythm. It is easy to use, and therefore is considered one of most effective first-aid devices to be placed in public areas.

According to authorities, all the newly launched subway lines will be equipped with the AEDs upon their launching into use. The subway operators will also cooperate with the AED producers in their daily management, examination and usage.

The equipment will be placed in obvious locations at the stations, and labeled with instructions as well.

A medical staff is teaching subway workers how to use an AED in a subway station in Beijing, China. /CFP

The move is part of the Chinese capital's blueprint to elevate its first aid readiness. The municipal government issued a plan on June 16, vowing to promote the first-aid facilities and devices including AEDs, at all railway stations, subway and bus stations, parks, tourist attractions, gyms, supermarkets and communities, in order to well protect the lives of the residents.

All the AEDs will be included into a digital life saving system, so that emergency centers can have a good knowledge of layouts of all the AEDs. There will be an AED map available to the public as well, enabling everyone on site to find the nearest equipment when needed.

The occurrence of several sudden deaths in the past few years have triggered wide discussions among the Chinese citizens over the lack of first-aid equipment in public areas. Data from the National Center Center for Cardiovascular Diseases show that every year, China has over 540,000 sudden cardiac deaths, and most of them happened before the victims could be rushed to a hospital.

Meanwhile, by the end of 2018, only around 15,000 AEDs were equipped in medical institutions and public locations. In America and Japan, there are about 300 AEDs for every 100,000 residents, about 30 times that of China.

A number of Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou have now announced plans in the installation of more AEDs in public areas in recent years.

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