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Aiming to reduce deaths from sudden cardiac arrest,
teaching the youth the importance of life-saving action

Elementary school students gathered around a manikin on the floor are practicing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and learning how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). "Push harder!" "It’s not easy." "I did it!" Employees of Asahi Kasei ZOLL Medical Corp. are helping to teach the children how to save a life using an AED, and what to do until the ambulance arrives. “What would you do if one of your friends collapsed while playing?” The students are prompted to consider this seriously, realizing that it could really happen.

AEDs became available for use by the general public in Japan in 2004, but most people would not be confident in using one if they suddenly needed to. In 2011, an elementary school girl in Saitama prefecture became the victim of sudden cardiac arrest. Even though the school had an AED, nobody used it. This tragic case prompted various initiatives to raise general awareness and confidence in AED use. In 2014, Asahi Kasei ZOLL Medical Corp. began to help educate elementary school students about AEDs using hands-on demonstrations while distributing an easy-to-understand booklet.

Ms. Sumie Ikeda of Asahi Kasei ZOLL Medical Corp. says, “Although AEDs are available in many public places in Japan, they are actually used only very seldom. This booklet helps make AEDs familiar to kids at an early age, so they can be prepared to use one if the need arises later in life. To really help save more lives means not only making AEDs available in more places, but also raising familiarity and confidence with AEDs among the general public. When sudden cardiac arrest strikes, every second matters. We want people to be able to act without hesitation when needed.”

In addition to helping to educate the youth about AEDs, Asahi Kasei ZOLL Medical Corp. also loans AEDs free of charge at marathons and other events, and holds training sessions and demonstrations in connection with them. Through such efforts, the company continues to strive to help reduce deaths from sudden cardiac arrest.

Public accessibility of AEDs in Japan
2004:7,361 2007:137,569 2011:395,823 2014:636,007 (AED units)
Lives saved with AEDs in Japan
People who witnessed cardiogenic cardiopulmonary arrest in public 2005:17,882、2008:20,769、2011:23,296、2014:25,255 / Cases of general public using AEDs 2005:46、2008:428、2011:738、2014:1,030 (cases)

AED booklet for elementary school students

The booklet was produced to be easy to understand by the intended audience of elementary students. Professor Taku Iwami of Kyoto University served as chief editor. While being easy to understand, the booklet retains detailed accuracy. It is informative for adults as well as students.

  • What to do if someone suddenly collapses
  • How to call an ambulance
  • How to perform CPR
  • How to use an AED
  • How AEDs work and where they are

Support for marathons and other events

Asahi Kasei ZOLL Medical Corp. loans AEDs free of charge and holds training sessions and demonstrations at several marathons and other events throughout Japan.

AEDs loaned free of charge in fiscal 2015

May 2015
Gifu Seiryu Half-Marathon Race, 75 AEDs
May 2015
Tohoku Rokkon Festival, 15 AEDs
Nov 2015
Ibigawa Marathon, 78 AEDs
Feb 2016
Nobeoka Nishinippon Marathon, 8 AEDs
Mar 2016
Itabashi City Marathon, 50 AEDs
Mar 2016
Kagoshima Marathon, 60 AEDs

ZOLL Foundation

ZOLL Medical Corporation, parent company of Asahi Kasei ZOLL Medical Corp., established the ZOLL Foundation in December 2013 as an independent entity organized for scientific and educational purposes. The ZOLL Foundation provides grants to support research, education, and public awareness related to improving resuscitation practices, preventing patient deterioration associated with cardiac arrest and morbidity, and enhancing the care of acute patients to reduce mortality and morbidity. In fiscal 2015, grants were provided to the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Toronto.