Re: Automated External Defibrillator
From: John Beutler (
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2007 20:52:50 -0800 (PST)

Michael Barrett can fill you in on the defibrillator experience at Liberty Village. We purchased one for a bit less than $1500 by taking up a collection. This was after one of our members (Merlin) died suddenly of an aortic aneurysm - although defibrillation would not have saved him. Another member had a mild heart attack, and so on. We had some expert advice from one of our members who works at the FDA medical devices branch in cardiac devices - and we also have 3 nurses in the community. There was some requirement to have a physician involved/sponsoring/overseeing, but the model we bought did not require that. It seemed to take a long time to navigate the details and actually purchase the device. CPR training was arranged for those who wished to learn.

Since we bought it, we have not had occasion to use it. Well, there was this case of acute indigestion (seriously), but it was not used. We have also not been overrun with wild elephants, so it has served two purposes. Many folks do sleep a little easier knowing it's here.



At 11:26 PM 12/3/2007 -0500, you wrote:

2006Mar12 we had a Saint Patrick's Day Party & Fund Raiser in the Common House where one of the off-site performers was stricken with an heart attack. Despite the efforts of two of our members who came to his aid, a cardiac nurse and an urgent care physician, the stroke was too massive and the performer died before the EMC could arrive.

I was part of the ad hoc to look into buying an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). As you noted that it is rather expensive ($1500). We lean heavily on the opinion of one of our members, an urgent care physician, who thought that the expense of the device coupled with the low likelihood of being useful made an AED a poor choice for our limited funds.

Do I wonder if we made the right decision? Yes but at 55 I all too aware of my own mortality. (I now work at a hospital and had the opportunity to ask the opinion of the chief resident I work with. He also thought that the cost/benefit did not justify an AED.)

It would be nice if we had a formula so one could determine at what point one could justify buying an AED.

I hope this helps.

-Robert Heinich
 Eno Commons
 Durham, NC
 who hopes that his daily 81 mg aspirin therapy really does work

----- Original Message -----
From: "Muriel Kranowski" <murielk [at]>
To: "Cohousing-L" <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2007 10:20 PM
Subject: [C-L]_ Automated External Defibrillator

> Have other completed communities purchased this emergency medical device,
> the Automated External Defibrillator?  We're currently discussing buying
> one; it would cost $1,500.
> I'd be interested to hear of your experiences with AEDs and whether the
> decision to purchase was easy to make or controversial, or if any groups
> decided not to purchase an AED (after considering it) and why.
>    Muriel
>    Shadowlake Village Cohousing
>    Blacksburg, VA
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John Beutler
Liberty Village, MD
jabeutler [at]

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