Coffee shops and ATMs named prime spots for defibrillators

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(CNN) - In the United States, cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death for people over 40.

If the heart stops and no help is available, a person can die within minutes.
But that doesn't need to be the case.

More than 11-percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest could be saved by increasing access to defibrillators.

Kim Hutcherson has details on locations researchers believe would be most effective for defibrillators in today's Health Minute.

Researchers have come up with a list of businesses that could play a role in reducing deaths caused by out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. The two places topping the list? Coffee shops and ATMs.

Cardiac arrest is caused by a malfunction in the heart, which leads to arrhythmia. It can often be avoided by supplying an electrical shock from an automatic external defibrillator—or AED—effectively jump-starting the heart.

The findings, published in the journal 'Circulation,' are based on this: most people wouldn't know where to find an AED in public. But they could point out the closest coffee shop or ATM.

If rescuers knew exactly where to locate a defibrillator in an emergency, they could save time and lives.

Another factor that pushed the businesses to the top of the list was operating hours. Both coffee shops and ATMs are usually open later than traditional 9-5 businesses. They're easily recognizable and accessible, and they're equipped with cameras and electricity.

Researchers admit that cost could be prohibitive in making their vision a reality. The technology used for defibrillators is not cheap, and many devices would likely end up not being used.