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
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
Frank Gonzales, training coordinator for the AED Committee,
encourages members of the CSU community to attend an AED training
“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
Another AED training option is Operation Intimidation
Elimination, a free orientation program offered by Environmental
“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
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
“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