PENN Researchers Bring Public Health Awareness to 30th Street Station

If you’ve traveled to Philadelphia recently, you might have been seeing red. That’s because our neighbors from  the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine chose the iconic 30th Street Station as the location for their Automated External Defibrillators (AED) red furniture and the launch of PENN Defibrillator Challenge – a public health contest raising awareness about the location of AEDs.

“30th Street Station is one of the arteries of the city and a truly prominent location in Philadelphia,” said frequent Amtrak rider and assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at PENN, Raina Merchant, MD MSHP.

“We wanted to create a conversation space in the station where Amtrak riders could sit, learn, and more importantly locate the AED devices that could play an integral part in saving a life in the event of an emergency.”

Born out of a previous project that utilized social media to locate AEDs around the City of Brotherly Love, the PENN Defibrillator Challenge takes awareness to a new level by encouraging the public to create artistic ways to make AEDs more visible to thousands of travelers in Philadelphia.

AED display at 30th Street Station.

“Through crowd sourcing from our previous project, we learned there are more than 1,400 AEDs in the city,” said Merchant. “However, they are often hidden in plain sight. We wanted to find a way to make the devices more memorable to the public.”

As the second largest Amtrak station in the country, 30th Street Station was a natural fit for the PENN Defibrillator Challenge. To date, the contest has had over 120 design submissions from around the world, over 12,000 site visitors and numerous personal stories about the importance of AEDs.

The PENN Defibrillator Challenge contest is accepting design submission until April 6. Interested participants can head here for more information.

If you you’re traveling to Philadelphia this week, don’t forget to check out the #AED furniture.