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Campus Installs New Defibrillator

By Daniel Smith
On October 24, 2018

The new AED located on the first floor of the Student Center.
Photo Courtesy of Priority FIrst Aid

There is now a new Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on the Concord University campus. It is installed on the main floor of the Student Center.

According to Emily Culver, vice president of the Student Government Association (SGA), it took a while to actually buy the AED, which was due to a shortage of funds. SGA wanted to install multiple AEDs, but they did not have money to buy them. They passed on to the idea on to the business office, which thought SGA was going to purchase the AED. At the beginning of this fall semester, Sarah Beasley brought it to the business office’s attention that SGA could not purchase the AED. When they heard this, Charles Becker, vice president for business and finance, offered to pay $1,500 towards it.

The AED, part of an American AED Business Package, was ordered through the website American AED: Automated External Defibrillators. According to the website, the package includes a Phillips Headstart OnSite AED that is powered by a Lithium battery-pack. There are also accessories including 1 pair of pads, a carrying case, an instructional and training DVD, a storage wall cabinet, a double-sided flanged AED sign, and a AED+CPR Responder Kit with a quick reference card, and an inspection/maintenance tag.

The website explains how the Phillips Headstart OnSIte AED operates by giving voice instructions for the user, and also has a diagram of where to place the Smart Pads. Voice instructions explain whether to deliver a shock or not based on the heart rhythms are read by the AED, and even give commands for doing CPR.

Andrew Sulgit, director of student union activity, says the new AED will be put in the welcome center, since it is a centralized location, accessible by staff, and open throughout the operational hours of the Student Center. All of the student center managers will have training for operating the AED before it is implemented in the building.

“I think that [the student center] usually gets more traffic than anywhere else on campus, so it made sense to put [an AED] in this building...I’m glad we have it. I think it’s needed and it’s been a long time coming,” says Sulgit.

There are currently five AEDs residing on the Concord University campus. One is located in the Fitness Center beside North and South Towers, and the four other are located in the bottom floor of the Carter Center.

The Athletic Training Department worked with their budget to save money, which allowed them to install four AEDs now in Carter Center. Two of the AEDs are ZOLL AED PLUS AEDs and the other two are HeartSine Samaritan Pad AEDs, which are all portable.

From an observation of the AEDs located in the Carter Center, the ZOLL AED PLUS and the HeartSine Samaritan Pad AEDs sound out voice instructions when turned on. Like the Phillips AED, these units can tell the user whether to deliver a shock or not. The HeartSine units are designed to contain instructions understandable by any, including those not familiar with AEDs or CPR. The ZOLL AED PLUS also contains a circular picture diagram to go with the voice instructions.

Routine checks are done on each of the four units about once a week, and a log is kept to determine if they are good to use or not.

Tracy Gill, clinical instructor of health science, describes the process of the AED in helping a person with a cardiac emergency. The AED analyzes the rhythm of the heart, which at that moment is a fast and uncoordinated rhythm called ventricular fibrillation. The rhythm is then followed by what is called a sistally, which is where no electrical activity is in the heart. She says that once the heart goes into a sistally, medication is needed to start the heart so that it has a rhythm again. In the case of someone requiring an AED, timing is crucial to find out if the heart of the victim still has a rhythm. The purpose of the AED is to deliver a shock that can regulate the rhythm going in the heart.

Gill goes on to explain the role of CPR in the AED process. The purpose of doing CPR is to circulate blood in the body, since the heart is not able to. She says that it is about chest compressions and rescue breathing. While breathing into the person helps, chest compressions help get oxygenated blood circulated throughout the body. This must be done to prevent damage to parts of the body after the heart is started again. “So you’re doing chest compressions to basically do the contraction of the heart to keep the blood pumping,” adds Gill. Once the CPR gets the heart going, then shocks can be delivered by the AED.

Culver thinks getting more AEDs for each building in the future is a goal. She says there is talk of trying to get AEDs intermittently until a substantial number is attained. 

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