Automated external defibrillators — known as AEDs — are critical tools that can save people suffering from cardiac arrest, and in sparsely populated parts of rural Colorado such as Elbert County, …
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Automated external defibrillators — known as AEDs — are critical tools that can save people suffering from cardiac arrest, and in sparsely populated parts of rural Colorado such as Elbert County, law enforcement officers are often the first to arrive at a medical emergency.
Thanks to Parker Adventist Hospital and Cardiac Science, the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office now has five new Powerheart G5 automated external defibrillators in its patrol cars. According to a news release, four of the AEDs were purchased from Bound Tree Medical and donated to the sheriff’s office by Parker Adventist Hospital and the fifth one is from Cardiac Science, the manufacturer of the devices.
“We understand the significant role that sheriff’s deputies play in responding to emergencies,” Parker Adventist Hospital CEO Mike Goebel said in the release. “We want to ensure our Elbert County deputies are armed with the best technology to help in those crucial moments when every second matters.”
The AEDs require minimal training and the device provides voice prompts to the administrators, the release said. The device calculates the number of shocks delivered, CPR efforts and additional data. This information can quickly be downloaded when additional medical assistance arrives. A display screen provides the critical information to medical personnel at the scene in addition to providing written prompts in loud environments, such as the side of the road.
“It is so important to have our deputies equipped with as much life-saving technology as possible,” Elbert County Sheriff Tim Norton said in the release. “Elbert County is very rural and we are a significant distance from any medical facilities. We are very fortunate to have been gifted with these life-saving AEDs. On behalf of myself, the deputies, and the residents of Elbert County, thank you Parker Adventist Hospital, Bound Tree Medical, and Cardiac Science for such a valuable gift.”
Cardiac arrest strikes an estimated 600,000 people in the United States each year, with nearly two-thirds occurring outside of a hospital, according to the news release. People survive in less than 6 percent of those cases, according to the National Academy of Sciences. The chances of surviving decrease 10 percent for every minute between the start of the cardiac arrest and restoring a heartbeat, the release said.
Sudden cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack, usually caused by blocked arteries. In cardiac arrest, the heart stops when the electrical pulses that tell it to beat, misfire. Only the “reset” from an electrical shock gives it a chance to resume beating. If an AED delivers a shock within the first three to five minutes after a person’s heart stops, studies show, the odds of survival are 60 percent to 70 percent, the release said.
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