Murray Calloway County Hospital recently donated an AED, automated external defibrillator, to Murray State University’s Waterfield Library and currently plans to donate a second device to another campus facility in the near future.

An AED, like these Cardiac Science automatic external defibrillators, is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia and is able to treat them through defibrillation, the application of electrical therapy, that can allow the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm. To use equipment like this, you need to attend training courses. This way, you will learn what you will need to do if you have to deal with anyone having a cardiac arrest or any other health problem. By looking into something like C2C CPR Training, you will understand how important this is for anyone who works in the healthcare industry to undertake training courses.

AEDs are designed to be simple to use for the layman, and the use of AEDs is taught in many first aid, first responder and basic life support level CPR classes.

Keith Travis, vice president of institutional development, said at a dedication event held in the library on Monday, Oct. 10, that this is one of several AED donations by the hospital. “In the past several months we have donated around 30 units to our partners in the surrounding area,” Travis said. “We’ve donated to the Murray and Calloway school systems, Eastwood Christian Academy and even the Murray sheriff’s department.”

The units donated will join 12 other units, which are dispersed throughout the campus.

AEDs are only effective during the first few minutes of cardiac dysrhythmia while the heart is still active, beating in a life-threatening and dysfunctional pattern. In ventricular tachycardia, the heart beats too fast to effectively pump blood and leads to ventricular fibrillation.

In ventricular fibrillation, the electrical activity of the heart becomes chaotic and prevents the ventricle from effectively pumping blood. This fibrillation decreases until eventually the heart stops beating completely.

AEDs, like all defibrillators, are not designed to shock flat-lined patients. A flat-lined patient only has a chance of survival if, through a combination of CPR and cardiac stimulant drugs, one of the shockable rhythms can be established which makes it imperative for CPR to be carried out prior to the arrival of a defibrillator.

For every minute that a person in cardiac arrest goes without being successfully treated by defibrillation, the chance of survival decreases — seven percent per minute in the first minutes, and 10 percent per minute as time advances.

“The library is the heart of the university,” Adam Murray, dean of university libraries, said. “We have nearly 4,000 students come through Waterfield Library on a daily basis, and it’s good to have something here to help the physical heart and help us remain committed to the safety of our students.”

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