All About Japan

Livesaving Device Embedded in Vending Machines

Technology Science

In the case of a cardiac arrest, every second counts, which is why over the past decade Japanese health organizations have deployed a large number of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in public areas, with the current count somewhere over 300,000 units.

Eventually the country would like to see that number expand to one in every building, but for the time being the first priority is AED accessibility, leaving some foreign tourists surprised to find that AEDs in places that might seem a little odd at first: like vending machines.

Following the 2004 revision of a law that only allowed not only medical service workers but ordinary citizens to operate AEDs, units started popping up all over the country.

Especially in areas such as large parks and stations, which can be difficult for emergency vehicles to access, having an AED nearby can be the difference between life and death.

The only problem is visibility and space, which is why since 2006 the number of AED-equipped vending machines has steadily grown, catching some foreign visitors that spot them a little off-guard.

Legally, AEDs can now be operated by anybody, but for any Japanese residents curious about learning how to properly use one in case of an emergency, most local fire stations offer instruction on AED use. So what are you waiting for? Go out and learn how to use an AED for you just might save someone's life.

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