PCH donates AED to fairgrounds

Friday, November 27, 2009
Jennifer Bedwell, front left, and Deborah Miller, front right, present an automated external defibrillator to Putnam County Fair Board president Al Harwood, as fellow fair board members and extension educators look on at Monday's fair board meeting. The defibrillator will remain in the community building in case of emergency during the fair or any other event at the fairgrounds.

GREENCASTLE -- When sudden cardiac arrest strikes every second counts, and if not treated immediately, can be fatal. Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States killing 325,000 people each year. In Indiana, only about one person in 20 suffering sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital will survive. An automated external defibrillator (AED) is the only measure that can help reverse sudden cardiac arrest, if performed immediately.

In an effort to increase sudden cardiac arrest awareness and reduce the number of deaths resulting from it in communities throughout the state of Indiana, Clarian Health is partnering with Putnam County Hospital to provide a battery-operated AED to a local non-profit in Greencastle, Indiana.

Sudden cardiac arrest is a common but often misunderstood condition in which the heart abruptly stops pumping blood typically in response to the unexpected onset of a chaotic rhythm. The AED will advise the rescuer, through computerized voice prompts, when to deliver an electrical shock to the victim's heart in order to restore a normal heart rhythm.

Greencastle's new AED will be placed at the Putnam County Fairgrounds. Clarian and Putnam County Hospital staff will work with Fair Board and Extension personnel to ensure effective AED placement and provide hands-on training, offering the latest guidelines and techniques, in AED utilization.

"Sudden cardiac arrest can literally kill within seconds. The faster a normal heart beat can be restored, the greater the chance of survival; and as the state's most comprehensive health care organization, it is important for us to work with our affiliates and partners to help save lives," said Jeffrey R. Mossler, MD, medical director of Electrophysiology, Methodist Hospital "It is our mission to help improve the health and quality of life for residents across the state of Indiana."

According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, an individual has an estimated survival rate of five percent when an AED is not available. However, defibrillation within three minutes increases the chance of survival 70 percent.

"Our hope is that no one will need to use this unit, but if such a need arises, the necessary equipment is immediately available," Dennis Weatherford, CEO, Putnam County Hospital.

Clarian Health will continue to work with its partners and affiliates and is expected to donate 35 AEDs to non-profits throughout the state in 2009.

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