South Arkansas Community College has taken steps to make its campuses safer in the event of medical emergencies by adding automatic external defibrillators.
AEDs are electronic devices that help restore the pumping action of the heart for victims of sudden cardiac arrest. Each year, more than 600,000 people die of heart disease, and a large majority of them die before reaching a hospital. But communities have seen a reduction in these deaths when AEDs, used to "shock" the heart back into an organized rhythm, are available.
SouthArk has placed one AED on its East Campus and one on its West Campus. The AED on the East Campus is in Room 103 of the McGehee Building; the one on the West Campus is in the receptionist office of the Whitfield Building. Either is accessible to anyone who needs one of the devices in an emergency situation.
Any bystander willing to assist a victim of heart trauma can follow the three-step instructions printed on the AED’s case, and the machine’s audio prompts.
A commitment already has been made to add AEDs as SouthArk expands. The devices cost about $1,300.
“Having AEDs on campus demonstrates SouthArk's commitment to providing no only a heart safe campus, but also helps in providing a heart safe community,” SouthArk emergency medicine program director Ken Kelley said.
PHOTO: SouthArk emergency medicine program director Ken Kelley, left, demonstrates on a volunteer “victim” how to use an automatic external defibrillator at the Whitfield Building Atrium on the West Campus recently.