The Russellville City School System recently purchased two Automated External Defibrillators (AED) through the Logan County Ambulance Service. An AED is a medical device that analyzes the heart’s rhythm and if necessary, delivers an electrical shock, known as defibrillation, which helps the heart re-establish an effective rhythm.
Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Over 350,000 people will suffer from sudden cardiac arrest this year . It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere and at any age. An AED is the only effective treatment for restoring a regular heart rhythm during sudden cardiac arrest and is an easy to operate tool for someone with no medical background.
Both the Logan County School Sytsem and Russellville System have AEDs in place in case of an emergency.
Shane Johnson, Logan County’s Ambulance Director, said he was contacted by the school system about helping with the process of purchasing the AEDs.
“We were more than willing to help out,” said Johnson. “Anything we can do to help the school systems, we want to be there for that.”
By going through the ambulance service, the AEDs were purchased at a discounted price.
“We really didn’t do anything more than helped facilitate the purchase and get them at a very reduced price,” said Johnson. “It is the school system that has the foresight to get them. AED’s are extremely effective and save lives.”
The new AEDs will be part of the athletic department, says Johnson.
“We know the schools are always tight for money and if we can help them out, that’s what we are going to do,” Johnson said.
Johnson said AEDs are one of the biggest advances in Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
“The key to saving someone’s life is early defibrillation. The chances of survival go way up if you are able to defibrillate someone immediately after their heart stops. There are a lot of things EMS can do after the heart has started back up, but getting that heart started quickly is the key factor. I hope they never have to be used, but if it is, it can save someone,” Johnson said.