Q&A on the News

Q: After reading the article about basketball teammates resuscitating a man (49-year-old Mike Lulko) who collapsed during a recreational league game in Suwanee, it made me think, can you use the automated external defibrillator on someone with a pacemaker?

-- Becky Noell, Woodstock

A: AEDs (automated external defibrillators) are safe and should be used even if a victim of sudden cardiac arrest has a pacemaker, said Dr. Robin Hemphill, associate professor and director of patient safety and quality in Emory University School of Medicine's Department of Emergency Medicine. Be careful not to place the AED pads over the pacemaker, which can be seen as a lump under the skin. The AED will analyze the heart rhythm, and if a shock is indicated, it can be safely delivered even when the victim has a pacemaker. If the victim is successfully resuscitated, the person should have the pacemaker rechecked.

Q: Does the U.S. Postal Service plan to issue a commemorative stamp of Paul Harvey, the late radio broadcaster?

-- Scott MacLean, Forest Park

A: To be considered for a stamp, an individual must be deceased at least five years, said Michael Miles, a USPS spokesman in Atlanta. Harvey died on Feb. 28, 2009. The Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee will not accept or consider proposals until at least three years after the individual's death. The only exceptions are stamps honoring U.S. presidents, which can happen on the first birth anniversary following the death.

Lori Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or e-mail q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).