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Philips Supports the Boston Marathon as the Sole Provider of Life-Saving Medical Devices
Date:4/18/2008

Automated external defibrillators and advanced life support

monitor/defibrillators help ensure safety at 112th Boston Marathon

ANDOVER, Mass., April 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) today announced its role as the sole provider of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and advanced life support (ALS) monitor/defibrillators for the 112th Boston Marathon, which will be run on April 21. The strategic deployment of Philips HeartStart AEDs and ALS monitor/defibrillators will equip the Boston Marathon Medical Team to respond promptly to the medical needs of runners and spectators alike.

Philips will provide 31 HeartStart MRx Monitor/Defibrillators and 36 HeartStart AEDs to cover the race, including along the course and at first aid stations, medical tents and Red Cross stations. These devices will be in steady use, or at the ready, to support the more than 1,200 medical and nursing personnel that will staff the event.

The HeartStart MRx Monitor/Defibrillator provides advanced functionality with the fastest time to shock of any monitor/defibrillator and the ability to support healthcare professionals in diagnosing both routine and critical conditions, such as acute myocardial infarction (heart attack). The MRx is sure to be a widely used tool for the Boston Marathon Medical Team as it provides the technology to monitor and assess patients, including measuring heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation, among other vital signs. A common risk for marathon runners is the onset of hyper- or hypothermia, conditions that require immediate diagnosis and treatment. The HeartStart MRx is the only device of its class equipped with on-board continuous temperature monitoring, which provides caregivers the vital information needed for such potential cases.

Deployment of defibrillators throughout the race course is also critical to public safety since sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) requires immediate treatment. Defibrillators deliver a potentially life-saving electric shock to the heart to stop the most common cause of SCA -- an electric malfunction that causes rapid and chaotic heart activity, called ventricular fibrillation -- and restore a normal heart rhythm.

"The health and safety of all runners, as well as spectators, of the Boston Marathon is our highest priority," said Pierre D'Hemecourt, M.D., co-medical director for the Boston Athletic Association. "Race amenities such as fluids, medical care and traffic safety are standard protocol, and with Philips HeartStart AEDs and ALS monitors throughout the course, we are prepared to treat a number of medical emergencies rapidly and effectively."

Deemed one of the world's most prestigious and oldest annual road racing events, the Boston Marathon draws more than 500,000 spectators along the 26.2-mile course, making it New England's most widely viewed sporting event. However, with more than 20,000 official runners, each year the event presents an opportunity to sharpen emergency preparedness skills.

In the case of SCA, a rapid response is the most important factor in saving a victim's life. At this year's marathon, defibrillators will be available at every mile post, assuring prompt medical attention regardless of a runner's location on the course. Additionally, HeartStart MRx ALS monitors will allow medical staff to assess and triage patients on-site.

SCA affects more than just elite athletes. As one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., claiming more than 325,000 lives each year, SCA poses a risk for anyone, from young athletes, to weekend warriors setting out on new spring workout schedules, to people who do not participate in athletic activities. In fact, more people die each year from SCA than from breast cancer, prostate cancer, AIDS, house fires, handguns and traffic accidents combined.

"The Boston Marathon is a prestigious race and Philips is proud to play a role in safeguarding the event," said Michael Miller, senior vice president of Cardiac Care for Philips Healthcare. "Many runners attempting this awesome feat will require medical care, and whether it involves vital signs monitoring or defibrillation in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest, we believe that deploying HeartStart AEDs and ALS monitors will help to ensure that race day is a safe day for marathoners and spectators alike."

About Boston Athletic Association

Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of managing athletic events and promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A.'s Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon, and the organization manages other local events and supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round running programs. Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John Hancock Financial Services.

About Royal Philips Electronics

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a global leader in healthcare, lighting and consumer lifestyle, delivering people-centric, innovative products, services and solutions through the brand promise of "sense and simplicity". Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs approximately 134,200 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of $36.8 billion (EUR 27 billion) in 2007, the company is a market leader in medical diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring systems, energy efficient lighting solutions, as well as lifestyle solutions for personal wellbeing. News from Philips is located at http://www.philips.com/newscenter.

Media inquiries, please contact:

Philips: Steve Kelly, Philips Healthcare

Tel: +1 425 487 7479

steve.kelly@philips.com

Ian Race, Philips Healthcare

Tel: +1 978 659 4626

ian.race@philips.com


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SOURCE Royal Philips Electronics
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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