Defibrillators On Campus
Not necessarily conspicuous, but easy to see when needed, some wall-mounted boxes marked by a heart in buildings around Texas A&M International University’s campus could save someone’s life.
Inside each of the 13 boxes around campus is an automated external defibrillator (AED), a lightweight portable automatic device, used to restore normal heart rhythm to patients in cardiac arrest by sending an electric shock through the chest to the heart.
“The positive benefits of having AEDs on site are so powerful,” said Kimberlee Sandoval, safety/risk manager.
According to the American Heart Association, about 310,000 people a year die of coronary heart disease without being hospitalized or admitted to an emergency room. That's about half of all deaths from coronary heart disease—about 850 Americans each day. Most of these are sudden deaths caused by cardiac arrest.
In June of 1999, defibrillators were mounted throughout Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports. In the first ten months, 14 cardiac arrests occurred, with 12 of the 14 victims in ventricular fibrillation. Nine of the 14 victims (64 percent) were revived with a defibrillator, according to the American Heart Association.
Because one of the keys to survival is early defibrillation, (along with early access, early CPR and early advanced care) AEDs have recently become an important medical tool. Trained non-medical personal, such as police and fire service personnel, can use these simplified electronic machines to treat a victim of sudden cardiac arrest.
“In October 2007, the TAMIU College of Nursing and Health Sciences conducted American Heart Association HeartSaver AED training to some of our TAMIU building emergency coordinators. That training is good for 24 months. TAMIU also has several Red Cross certified instructors on staff as well and recreational sports staff receive training every 12 months through Red Cross,” explained Sandoval.
“We placed 13 Cardiac Science Powerheart AED G3 Plus around well-travelled areas in buildings on campus. They are located on the first floor, either near elevators, lobbies or restrooms,” said Sandoval.
The AEDs are located in the first floor by the cashier’s window in the administrative side of the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library (KL) and on the first floor at the circulation desk in the Killam Library.
Other AEDs are located at: Dr. Billy F. Cowart Hall, first floor near restroom; Bob Bullock Hall, first floor near restroom; Anthony J. and Georgia A. Pellegrino Hall, first floor elevator lobby; Dr. F. M. Canseco Hall, first floor elevator lobby; Western Hemispheric Trade Center, across from room 116; Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center, first floor hall near restrooms; Kinesiology and Wellness Recreation Center, first floor information desk and on the second floor near aerobic rooms; Physical Plant (H), second floor lobby.
Installations are pending at the Student Center and Center for the Fine and Performing Arts.
“The University police department has two that they take with them to respond to medical emergencies and Athletics has several per NCAA guidelines,” added Sandoval.
For more information, contact Sandoval at 326.2190, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit office in H205.
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