The Taipei City Government will install 109 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at Taipei MRT stations on April 1 as part of its efforts to enhance emergency medical services in public areas.
The installation of the AEDs is in accordance with an amendment to the Emergency Medical Service Act (緊急醫療救護法), which demands that easy access to vital emergency treatment to decrease non-traumatic sudden deaths should be available in public venues.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said the city government aims to install a total of 1,000 AEDs at public venues — including schools, district offices and night markets — within three years.
“The Department of Health has not announced a list of public venues that should carry AEDs. However, Taipei wants to lead in this effort and install them first at MRT stations,” Hau said.
According to health officials, hospitals receive on average 20,000 non-traumatic patients with irregular heartbeats each year.
The city government also invited well-known saxophone player Wang Chi-hsuan to promote the installation of AEDs in public venues.
Wang, 71, fainted on stage during a performance in December last year at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, and regained consciousness after someone in the audience performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and used an AED.
“I wouldn’t be alive if not for CPR and the AED, and so I think installing AEDs in public venues is crucial. More lives could be saved by having this equipment,” he said.
Hau said the AEDs are equipped with clear instructions and are easy to use even for people without medical training.
The device is used to restart a heart that is not beating, or is beating with an irregular rhythm.
Taipei City’s Department of Health said the city government also offers emergency medical care training at 12 district offices to teach life-saving skills, including CPR and using the AED.