AED device knowledge helpful for saving lives

City Council considers adding more throughout Hudson

by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published:

Hudson -- Although Council members Dec. 10 knew an automated external defibrillator used for restoring a normal heart rhythm was on the wall outside Town Hall's meeting room, they were shocked to find out the battery was dead and the paddles were expired.

It was perfect timing for a presentation by Atrus Inc., a national AED registry which has the ability to locate AEDs during an emergency and provide notification for maintaining the batteries and paddles, according to Atrus President Elliot Fisch.

EMS Outreach provided residents with emergency information forms they can store in the refrigerator for first responders and now would like to support an AED registry program, according to EMS Outreach President Heidi Schweighoefer.

The registry program would be funded for $950 per year by the EMS Outreach Fund of Hudson, which was founded in 2010 to partner with Hudson EMS to promote general wellness and safety, David Schweighoefer said.

He told Council 18 months ago EMS Outreach located a vendor who could provide AEDs at a 25 to 30 percent discount to place more AEDs in businesses, churches or schools in the city.

Currently there are approximately 30 AEDs in Hudson, Heidi Schweighoefer said.

An AED cost between $900 and $1,400 each, David Schweighoefer said. The discount would reduce the amount to $700 to $900.

EMS Outreach is also pursuing a grant to help with the cost, which is the number one deterrent for purchasing an AED, David Schweighoefer said.

But even with an AED, it doesn't do anyone any good, if it can't be located quickly and used in an emergency, Atrus said. By registering AEDs and putting them in a database, the Hudson dispatch center could access it if a 9-1-1 call indicated cardiac arrest.

"An AED doesn't do anyone any good if no one knows where it is," Fisch said. "People die in buildings with AEDs. That shouldn't happen."

When someone calls 9-1-1, the dispatcher can locate an AED within 600 feet of the victim and have it delivered to the victim's location while CPR is being administered, Fisch said.

"AEDs don't save lives," he said. "People quickly using an AED save lives."

If an AED is used on a cardiac victim, the survival rate can increase from 7 percent to 38 percent, Fisch said.

In addition to the location of AEDs, the software will give a monthly reminder to check the AED to make sure the battery isn't dead or the paddles have expired, he added.

"Sometimes people don't get an AED because they don't know how to maintain them," said Hudson EMS Director Bruce Graham. "This system reminds them."

The maintenance reminder also goes to Hudson EMS so they can check them, too, Fisch added.

The Ohio law states owners of AEDs "may" register but there are no requirements, Fisch said. Even states with laws requiring registration do not enforce it.

David Schweighoefer said a business, church or school that registered an AED could receive a discount off the purchase price.

Council member David Basil said he supported the discount as an incentive to register an AED.

Schweighoefer said the owner can make the AED available for public use or private for the business, church or school only.

Graham asked Council to accept the EMS Outreach gift, which will be ongoing, for the AED program.

Council President Hal DeSaussure said Council would create a resolution to accept the gift from EMS Outreach.

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

Facebook: Laura Freeman, Record Publishing

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP

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