American Airlines, The First Airline With AED's Onboard, Celebrates Saving 76 Lives In The Past 10 Years

February 14, 2007

FORT WORTH , Texas – As the country celebrates Valentine's Day, as well as American Heart Month during February, American Airlines commemorates the 10-year anniversary of its own heart-health milestone. In 1997, American Airlines became the first U.S. airline to equip its aircraft fleet with Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), and this month, American proudly celebrates the 76 lives it has saved in those 10 years.

“American Airlines is pleased to be a pioneer in heart-health at 30,000 feet,” said Dr. Thomas Bettes, American's Corporate Medical Director. “Our extensive training process ensures that our nearly 16,000 flight attendants are AED-trained annually and available to assist should a passenger become a victim of sudden cardiac arrest.”

American's installation of AEDs came nearly seven years before the FAA required them on all commercial passenger aircraft of a certain size. Within the first year, all of American's flight attendants were trained to use the AEDs in case of emergencies.

On Feb. 18, 1998, Robert Giggey of Mebane, N.C., became the first American Airlines passenger whose life was saved. Mr. Giggey collapsed on board an aircraft after rushing to catch a connecting flight at DFW Airport. Following his incident, Mr. Giggey and his wife, Carmen, became champions of getting defibrillators installed in public places.

Quick Facts About American's AED Usage

    76 lives saved by American Airlines & Flight Attendants: Since equipping its fleet with AEDs, American Airlines has saved 76 lives using AEDs.

    Need to act fast: The American Heart Association estimates that 95 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital, and when defibrillation is provided within 5 to 7 minutes, the survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest is as high as 49 percent.

    American's high success rate: Since equipping its aircraft with AEDs, American, a founding member of the global oneworld® Alliance, has achieved a survival rate of 63 percent. The rate of survival aboard American Airlines is so much higher than the national average because an AED is only footsteps away.

    Comprehensive training: To ensure that our customers have the safest inflight experience, all of American Airlines and American Eagle flight attendants are CPR/AED trained.

About American Airlines
American Airlines is the world's largest airline. American, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection® airlines serve 250 cities in over 40 countries with more than 4,000 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 1,000 aircraft. American's award-winning Web site,, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® Alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members serve more than 600 destinations in over 135 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, and We know why you fly are registered trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. (NYSE: AMR).