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Mosesso advises golf courses to set up a system that could get an AED to a patient in 3 to 5 minutes. A course could have one in the clubhouse -- perhaps in the pro shop, where a trained staff member can be on call at all times -- and another with a roving course ranger or marshal.

"We are going to see some innovative solutions," Mosesso says. "Some courses have put the locations of AEDs on score cards, and some have put dedicated emergency cell phones in every golf cart. It helps to have as many people as possible on the staff of the golf club trained in [the use of AEDs], and in country clubs many members should get training."

Mosesso says that even with increased availability of the new machines, people should still learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, techniques.

"CPR can help buy a little bit of time by maintaining some blood flow to heart and brain until defibrillation can occur," he says. "There are some patients who collapse who are not in a shockable rhythm, and in those patients giving CPR may preserve enough blood flow until medical professionals arrive on the scene. And if the machine says do not shock, you should still do CPR. The steps should be to call 911 immediately, start CPR, defibrillate, and get the patient to advanced medical care."

This is Part 1 of a three-part series. Click here for parts 2 and 3.

Originally published May 17, 2001.
Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD, May 2002.

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