HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Harrisburg Police Department will receive 18 AEDs, which are automated external defibrillators. The donation is on behalf of the UPMC Foundation and the Peyton Walker Foundation in recognition of Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month, which is this month.
The Peyton Walker Foundation was founded after 19-year-old Peyton Walker, from Camp Hill, died from sudden cardiac arrest in 2013. Her mother, Julie Walker, founded the foundation to increase awareness and survival rates for sudden cardiac arrest patients. Because of the foundation, access to AEDs have increased in the area, along with CPR and AED training, and thousands of kids have received free heart screenings.
Sudden cardiac arrest and a heart attack are not the same thing. Sudden cardiac arrest kills about 350,000 people every year. It can happen at any age and is an electrical malfunction that causes the heart to suddenly stop beating. In contract, a heart attack is the blockage of a coronary artery that interrupts blood flow to the hear. Getting an AED on someone in sudden cardiac arrest within the first two minutes increases their survival rate to as high as 80 percent.
The 18 AEDs will be presented to the Harrisburg Police Department at 10:30 Tuesday morning at UPMC Pinnacle.