Hunt Regional auxiliary group purchases AEDs for public safety

9/30/2017

Hunt Regional Medical Center recently installed two automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for public access, thanks to a donation by Hunt Regional’s auxiliary group. An AED is a portable device that checks the heart’s rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm.

Easy access to AEDs allows the public or staff to help someone in need of CPR. The devices are able to assist with adult, pediatric, and infant needs.

The user-friendly devices can be used by untrained bystanders to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. When this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. SCA usually causes death if not treated within minutes. In fact, each minute of SCA leads to a 10% reduction in chance of survival. Using an AED on a person who is having SCA may save their life.

If someone is in cardiac arrest, you may see them suddenly collapse and lose consciousness. Or, you may find the person unconscious and unable to respond when you call or shake him or her.

The person may not be breathing, or he or she may have an abnormal breathing pattern. If you check, you usually can't find a pulse. The person's skin also may become dark or blue from lack of oxygen. The person may not move, or his or her movements may look like a seizure.

How to use an AED:

  • Before using an AED, check for puddles or other water near the person who is unconscious. Move the patient to a dry area, and stay away from water when delivering shocks.
  • Turn on the AED's power. The device will give you step-by-step instructions. You'll hear voice prompts and see prompts on a screen.
  • Check that the wires from the electrodes are connected to the AED. Make sure no one is touching the person, and then press the "analyze" button. Stay clear while the machine checks the person's heart rhythm.
  • If a shock is needed, the AED will let you know when to deliver it. Stand clear of the person and make sure others are clear before you push the "shock" button.
  • Start or resume CPR until emergency medical help arrives or until the person begins to move. Stay with the person until medical help arrives, and report all of the information you know about what has happened.
The defibrillators are located outside the cafeteria doors on the first floor and next to the second floor outpatient registration window.

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