QUESTION: Could a defibrillator have saved Tim Russert? “NBC News has declined to comment on whether an automated external defibrillator, or A.E.D., was nearby at the time of Mr. Russert’s collapse or why a defibrillator wasn’t immediately used.” Huh. Why keep mum?

And this is clearly right: “One of the many lessons from Mr. Russert’s death is that everybody should find out whether their building has a portable defibrillator and where it is located, and then learn how to use it.” And public buildings should routinely be equipped with these. They’re not very expensive.

More background in this post, including a report on a kid who was saved by an AED.