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Philips Electronics Donates HeartStart Defibrillators to U.S. Soccer


NEW YORK (Thursday, September 4, 2003) — Philips Electronics (NYSE:PGH, AEX: PHI), an official partner of the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 and sponsor of U.S. Soccer, announced today that it will donate more than $38,000 in Philips HeartStart Defibrillators and accessories to the U.S. Soccer Federation.  As the local operating committee for the FIFA Women’s World Cup (September 20-October 12), the U.S. Soccer Federation will ensure that the devices are on-site at all six FIFA Women’s World Cup Stadium venues and at the U.S. Soccer training facility. The devices will also travel with the U.S. Men’s, Women’s and Youth National Teams.  Having these defibrillators close by could potentially save the lives of soccer fans or players in the event of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).  Philips is the world leader in automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

SCA is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, claiming more than 250,000 lives each year — more than breast cancer, prostate cancer, AIDS, house fires, handguns and traffic accidents combined.  Defibrillation is recognized as the definitive treatment for SCA caused by ventricular fibrillation, an electrical malfunction of the heart. 

“Installing defibrillators in public places makes as much sense as installing smoke detectors,” said Brandi Chastain, member of the U.S. Women’s National Team and FIFA Women’s World Cup 1999 champion. “These defibrillators are simple to use and can save lives.  There’s no reason not to have these close-by.”  Brandi Chastain has joined with Philips to promote public awareness about the importance of early access to defibrillation.

Today, fewer than five percent of cardiac arrest victims survive, largely because defibrillators do not reach them within the first few minutes following an arrest.  For each minute that passes before defibrillation therapy, the chance for survival decreases by about 10 percent.  While many ambulances carry defibrillators, it takes an average of nine minutes for emergency medical services to reach a cardiac arrest victim.  However, rapid response defibrillator programs implemented in cities, communities, airports and other public venues have achieved survival rates greater than 40 percent. The American Heart Association estimates that 50,000 additional lives could be saved each year if defibrillators were more readily available in public places such as stadiums, fitness centers, schools, workplaces and shopping malls.

“Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time.  That’s why having defibrillators available wherever people work, live and play is critical,” said Deborah DiSanzo, vice president, Cardiac Resuscitation, Philips Medical Systems. “We’re very pleased to make this donation to U.S. Soccer in an effort to protect the players and spectators during the FIFA Women’s World Cup and beyond.”

“One of our goals as the local organizing committee of the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 is to create an environment where people can truly enjoy the sport of soccer.  That means ensuring that we have done everything possible to make our fans and players safe,” said S. Robert Contiguglia, M.D., president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, “We are thrilled to have a partner like Philips that is willing to donate these defibrillators.”

Philips and Football
Philips has been a dedicated partner of football (soccer) for 90 years, and is committed to ongoing support of the world’s most popular game.  One of the first known “official” associations with football was when the company’s founders, Anton and Gerard Philips, established a sports center where the employees could gather to play their favorite sport.  Soon after, in 1913, the Philips brothers helped establish a professional football team in the company’s original home of Eindhoven, The Netherlands, which was originally made up of Philips’ employee football players. This team, PSV Eindhoven, still exists today under the Philips banner and in fact won the Dutch league this past year.  Philips has expanded its association with football globally by sponsoring every FIFA World Cup since 1986.  The company also invests locally in a whole range of football-related activities, including local and amateur teams and country-specific football/soccer organizations such as the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and the Chinese University League.  Philips also sponsors MatchCast, which is available for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2003 as an interactive service developed in association with Yahoo! and FIFA at FIFAworldcup.com.

About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is one of the world's biggest electronics companies and Europe's largest, with sales of $30.1 billion (EUR 31.8 billion) in 2002. It is a global leader in color television sets, lighting, electric shavers, medical diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring, and one-chip TV products. Its 164,000 employees in more than 60 countries are active in the areas of lighting, consumer electronics, domestic appliances, semiconductors, and medical systems. Philips is quoted on the NYSE (symbol: PHG), London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and other stock exchanges. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter.

 


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