LETTER- AEDs should be required

My heart goes out to Susan DeJarnette and her family for their loss of Henry [February 9 cover story: "Heartbreak– Could a simple device have saved a life?"].

My husband (age 54) died while out for a walk after work on the evening of March 19, 2001. He had no known medical problems. He went down in the road where I live, and two nurses stopped to lend assistance. Our local volunteer fire company, not 1/4 mile away, responded to the call first– but told me they had to return to the station as they did not have the defibrillator because it was not "required equipment."

The nurses both felt my husband had died from a brain aneurysm, and two doctors subsequently concurred with their determination. A defibrillator apparently would not have helped him. But I think there will always be questions in my mind about it.

I wonder how many lives have been lost while this device was not "required equipment" for those responding to medical emergencies. And I'd like to hear the stories of lives that were saved by well-trained medical personnel because of their use and accessibility.

Mary Trimpe
Charlottesville #