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 Automatic Heart Defibrillators Distributed Across SRU Campus 

 

SPOTLIGHT

9/29/03

Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail: karl.schwab@sru.edu

SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSITY ADDS 14 AUTOMATIC DEFIBRILLATORS ACROSS CAMPUS

IN EFFORT TO HELP HEART ATTACK VICTIMS; ALSO EQUIP POLICE CRUISERS

           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -- In an effort to help save lives following onset of a sudden heart attack, Slippery Rock University has made available 14 automatic external defibrillators, known as "AEDs," at high traffic locations throughout campus. The units have also become standard equipment for campus police cruisers.

           The units, similar to those seen on popular television medical shows and used across the country by medical professionals, deliver a powerful electric shock to stop abnormal heat rhythm and allow the heart to return to a more normal beating pattern.

           "Our goal is to protect the lives of our employees and students," said William Rudloff, director of campus environmental health and safety. "Having AEDs on site increases access to early defibrillation and can help save lives," he added. Sudden cardiac arrest reportedly claims more than 250,00 lives annually. Survival rates for sudden cardiac arrest are less than 20 percent when defibrillation is delayed 10 minutes or more.

           The campus units are programmed to walk the user through the defibrillation procedure with little previous training. Still, more than 60 university staff have already undergone a four-hour training session to familiarize themselves with the units and with cardiopulmonary resuscitation. After being attached to a heart attack victim, the defibrillating units automatically check the patient for actual need before delivering the shock treatment. Other training sessions will be offered throughout the remainder of the year.

           The wall-mounted units located in some buildings sound an alarm when opened. Other units are held at the main desk for easy access.

            Similar portable units have become popular across the U.S. with many cities equipping police cars and other emergency, first-responder vehicles with such units.

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