Sep 022004
 
Authors: Lindsay Robinson

CSU community members have the power to save a life by using one

of 21 Automated External Defibrillators located around campus.

AEDs are used to revive victims of sudden cardiac arrest – a

situation where a person’s heartbeat suddenly becomes abnormal

because of an arrhythmia, causing the heart to stop pumping blood

and the individual to lose consciousness.

The use of an AED is generally the only way to revive the person

having sudden cardiac arrest. It delivers an electric shock to the

individual’s chest, restoring the heart to a normal beat.

Time is the most critical element during sudden cardiac arrest.

A person’s chance of survival decreases by seven to 10 percent for

every minute without defibrillation, according to the American

Heart Association.

The AEDs are designed for use by minimally trained people and

are located in high-traffic areas across campus to eliminate the

time it takes for the ambulance to arrive with a defibrillator.

Ken Quintana, coordinator of the AED Committee, said the group

specifically chose machines that are simple to operate and nearly

impossible to misuse.

“It’s fool-proof,” Quintana said. “It won’t deliver a shock to

anybody unless the computer inside the unit figures out the person

is needing a shock.”

The AEDs are contained in boxes similar to those holding fire

extinguishers. Quintana said once the device is removed from the

wall, it automatically notifies the CSU Police Department, which

will then dispatch an ambulance to the scene.

Once the AED is activated by the push of a button, it will walk

the user through the process, audibly instructing the individual

where to place the adhesive pads on the victim’s chest. It will

then analyze his or her heart rhythm to discern whether a shock is

needed.

Frank Gonzales, training coordinator for the AED Committee,

encourages members of the CSU community to attend an AED training

session

“The more people that are trained the better,” he said. “Instead

of having 50 people standing around looking at each other and

wondering what to do, more people understand what they need to do

to help somebody.”

There are several ways CSU students, staff and faculty can learn

how to use an AED.

Beginning this month, Hartshorn Health Service is including an

AED component in its Red Cross CPR/First Aid training courses. The

courses’ price has increased slightly with the AED addition to $40

for students and $50 for non-students. This includes the price of

course materials, instruction card and certification card.

Katie DeVisser, CPR/AED/first-aid coordinator at Hartshorn,

wants students to understand that the health center is not making

any money from the program.

“We are simply offering these courses as cheaply as possible to

students because we want them to be certified,” she said. “It’s an

at-cost program.”

Another AED training option is Operation Intimidation

Elimination, a free orientation program offered by Environmental

Health Services.

“They give information on what the AEDs are, where they’re

located, how we’ve implemented the whole program on campus,”

Quintana said. “The participants actually get to use an AED.”

CSU got its first seven AEDs in October 2003. There are now 21

total AEDs on campus, and most are publicly accessible. They are

located in high-traffic areas, including the Lory Student Center,

the Student Recreation Center, the Clark Building, South College

Gym and Moby Arena.

Gonzales said the main reason the university invested in the

devices is because the rate of heart attacks is on the rise with an

aging population and increasing obesity trend. Public venues such

as malls and airports are now beginning incorporate AEDs as

well.

The AEDs run about $3,000 each, including installation, but

Gonzales said they are well worth the cost. Within six months of

the initial AED installation at CSU, two graduate students saved

the life of a man who suffered sudden cardiac arrest while running

laps at South College Gym.

“It was shown that man would not have kept his life if the AEDs

weren’t available,” Gonzales said. “I don’t think you can put a

price on life. It’s very good to have these at public access for

everybody on campus.”

Quintana said the AED Committee’s goal is to get more people

trained in the use of AEDs. EHS is now offering group programs and

will soon implement a mobile program where the instructors will go

to a group to give training. The Red Cross CPR/First Aid training

program at the health center features discounted group rates as

well.

“This coming year we really want to concentrate on training more

people in using the AEDs so more and more people around campus can

use those to give whatever assistance might be needed,” Quintana

said.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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