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December 24, 2009

Hospitals Donate Defibrillators to Local School Districts

Most often gifts to schools center around further education. Recently a pair of local medical facilities went a bit further, providing two local school districts with a gift that could help save lives.

Scotland County Hospital and Blessing Heart and Vascular Center recently presented automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to the Gorin R-III and Schuyler County R-I school districts.

“AEDs help schools to be prepared in an event of cardiac emergency and could potentially save the life of a student, employee or visitor,” said Alisa Kigar of SCMH.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest strikes people of all ages and fitness levels, usually without warning. Because of the nature of the medical condition, AEDs are becoming more prevalent in public venues such as shopping malls, sports arenas and schools.

The two area medical providers joined forces to purchase the AEDS, which typically come with a price tag of approximately $2,000 each, for the two school districts. SCMH previously had donated a pair of AEDs that were installed at the Scotland County R-I high school and elementary school buildings.

“Everyday lives are being saved by the prompt delivery of life-saving defibrillation,” said Gorin Principal Tina Townsend. “With AEDs available through the local school systems, many, many lives could be saved.”

Townsend noted that Sudden Cardiac Arrest claims 400,000 lives annually and contrary to popular belief SCA doesn’t impact only the elderly, overweight, or weak.

“SCA can strike anyone, anytime, anywhere,” she said. “At school sporting events, field trips, dances, assemblies, or just the course of a school day, the risk of cardiac arrest is very real.”

The principal stated that the new AED not only will protect the kids and staff, but the entire public, since the school serves as a gathering place for parents and community members.

“AEDs in the school system allow everyday citizens to become part of the emergency response system, increasing the likelihood that first responders can save a life,” Townsend said.


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