The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the Phillips HeartStart Home Defibrillator. This device is the first of a new generation of defibrillators designed specifically for the home. Defibrillators provide treatment for sudden cardiac arrest, a leading cause of death in the United States, claiming a quarter million lives each year. The Philips HeartStart Home Defibrillator is ideal for the emerging class of home responders who want to be able to help save the lives of friends and relatives in the event of cardiac arrest.

While many ambulances are equipped with defibrillators that could help a cardiac arrest victim in the home, therapy must be delivered within minutes for survival. Research shows that in a typical community it takes an average of nine minutes for an ambulance to reach a victim. For each minute that passes the chance for survival decreases by about 10 percent.

The HeartStart Home Defibrillator offers ease of use for the potentially large and emerging group of in-home responders.    Designed to be fast to learn and easy to use, the HeartStart Home Defibrillator helps this new class of responders use a defibrillator successfully.

The underlying defibrillation technology of the HeartStart Home Defibrillator is identical to the more than 100,000 Philips automated external defibrillators in use on airlines, and in airports, workplaces and communities across the globe. However, the HeartStart Home Defibrillator features additional patented technologies and design refinements that make it fast to learn and easy to use. Clear, calm voice instructions guide an operator through every step of the defibrillation process, even reminding them to call for emergency help and providing CPR coaching. SMART Pad technology senses the responder's actions with the pads and automatically adjusts the pace of the voice instructions to meet the individual responder's needs.

Since more than 70 percent of cardiac arrests happen in the home, the American Red Cross envisions having one person in every household trained in CPR and defibrillator use, and would like to have every American be within four minutes of a defibrillator. This new Phillips HeartStart Home Defibrillator is a start in that direction.