Douglas High School’s athletic department received a pair of orange-clad Automatic External Defibrillator devices from Carson Valley Medical Center Tuesday afternoon.
CVMC primary care provider Jim Gocke, APRN, and CVMC Hospital Foundation board member Nita Schwartz, MD, were on hand to present the devices to Douglas High student athletes and athletic department administration.
The devices, which are lightweight and roughly the size of a lunch box, can automatically detect life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias and restore hearts to a normal rhythm in critical situations by delivering an electric shock through the chest to the heart.
The use of an AED device can double an individual’s chance of surviving cardiac arrest, buying precious time for a victim before they can receive trained emergency medical care. Experts say a victim’s chance of surviving sudden cardiac arrest drops by 7 to 10 percent each minute a normal heartbeat isn’t restored.
“CVMC was happy to be able to contribute these devices to Douglas High School in an effort to continue to establish Carson Valley as a heart safe community,” Carson Valley Medical Center Communications Coordinator Joey Crandall said. “This technology buys priceless seconds for individuals in immediate need of care.”
Douglas High already has a permanent-location device located inside of the school and another portable device that stays with the school’s athletic trainer. The addition of the two new devices, which were requested by the school’s athletic booster club, increases the flexibility, availability and immediacy of the potentially life-saving technology around campus. They will be deployed primarily at the Big George Sports Complex — where the football, soccer and track & field programs practice and compete — and at Tiger Field, the school’s baseball facility.
More than a quarter million people die from sudden cardiac arrest every year and it is one of the top causes of death among young athletes, often brought on by a pre-existing, detectable condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
The devices come with built-in audio instruction that walks an individual through the steps to render critical aid with the technology until emergency personnel arrives on scene.
Carson Valley Medical Center is a non-profit medical organization that provides acute and ICU care, surgery, 24-hour emergency services, primary care and outpatient services through Carson Valley. A partnership of Barton Health and Renown Health, Carson Valley Medical Center’s mission is to care for the health and wellness of our community by providing accessible, affordable, high quality healthcare for all. For more information, visit www.cvmchospital.org