One in four U.S. Latinos has never heard of a portable device available in many public places that can help save someone whose heart has stopped, new research shows.
That’s compared to 4 percent of whites who were unfamiliar with automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, which shock the heart back to a normal rhythm.
The findings were released Saturday at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions.
Because AEDs can be a critical tool to help people survive a cardiac arrest, the results underscore an urgent need to educate Latinos, said study researcher Benjamin S. Abella, M.D., an emergency medicine physician at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Knowing how to use an AED is “an important part of what it is to be an informed and enabled citizen to respond to emergencies,” said Abella, director of the university’s Center for Resuscitation Science.
Abella and his colleagues analyzed responses from 9,022 Americans who participated in a telephone survey between September and November 2015. One in 10 respondents were Latino, and most chose to answer the survey in English.