CarMax, a specialty retailer of used cars, announced it will lease 100 automatic external defibrillator (AED) units and train its associates required to operate them. During the next three months, CarMax will install AEDs in its 50 used-car superstores, 12 new-car franchises, corporate headquarters, and CarMax Auto Finance office. Following installation, the American Heart Association (AHA) and Medtronic, supplier of the machines and coordinator of AED programs, will train a minimum of five associates in each location on AED operation and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

"People can joke about a retailer that sells cars installing AEDs in its stores, but the facts are no laughing matter. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women nationwide," said Austin Ligon, president and chief executive officer of CarMax, Inc. "A study done by the AHA that showed people with sudden cardiac arrest were twice as likely to survive if they had an attack in a public place equipped with an AED. So, with almost 10,000 CarMax associates in our stores and headquarters, and hundreds of thousands of customers visiting our stores each year, it just makes sense to invest in AEDs as a safety measure."

The AEDs, currently installed in select malls, airplanes, health clubs, schools, and government and senior centers nationwide, are easy to operate. If it is suspected that someone has suffered a cardiac arrest, a trained user takes the AED off the wall, asks a colleague to call 9-1-1, opens the AED, listens to its voice prompts, places electrode pads on the person's chest, and allows the machine to decide whether the person's heart should be shocked. If the machine determines a shock is needed, it administers the shock itself. As a safety precaution, the machine will administer a shock only when it determines such action is necessary.