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Fisher Phillips Installs Automated External Defibrillators in Its Offices


At 7:10 p.m. this past January 17, Nancy Holland died.

Out to dinner with friends at a Kansas City restaurant, Holland had walked to the restroom. Another woman in the restroom, who heard Holland crack her head as she fell, screamed for help. The restaurant’s three managers found Holland on the floor, without a pulse and not breathing.

Within a minute or two of reaching Holland, restaurant manager Richmond Carson began CPR, a life skill his mother, a nurse, had insisted he learn a year earlier. A police officer arrived minutes later with an automated external defibrillator. Holland received several jolts from the AED over the next 10 minutes before being moved to an ambulance for transport to a hospital emergency room.

Holland, a mother of two, had suffered sudden cardiac arrest, which struck without warning when a blood clot lodged in her heart. She survived only because of Carson’s swift intervention and the first responder’s AED use.

“The combination of CPR and the AED saved my life,” said Holland, who will send her older son to college this fall. “My cardiologist said this is how it’s supposed to be. Someone sees you go down, someone is there to call 911, someone there knows CPR, someone has access to an AED. If one domino falls out of place, 80 percent to 90 percent of people who have sudden cardiac arrest don’t survive.”

As a result of Holland’s experience, Fisher Phillips, where Holland’s husband, Jim, is managing partner of the Kansas City office, already has taken action. The firm installed AEDs in its offices across the country and is training employees in CPR and the use of AEDs. The firm advocates for other companies to follow suit.

“AEDs are a long-term investment and most will never be needed,” said Jim Holland. “But if an AED in the workplace ends up saving a life, the company that installed it will never have to look back and wonder, ‘What if?’”

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