Portable defibrillators help save lives - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Portable defibrillators help save lives

February 27, 2003
Albany-Portable defibrillators are becoming more common. So, should schools be equipped with them?

It may not look like much, but the device can save lives.

The automatic external defibrillator, or AED as it is called, only takes four hours to learn how to use one.

"When you open it, it tells you exactly what you are suppose to do," said Lt. Ken Turner with the Albany Fire Department.

If someone goes into cardiac arrest... the defibrillator will tell you if they need to be shocked.

"Then you just mash the button to administer the shock," Turner said.

In Albany, defibrillators are on every fire truck. Three years ago, the Darton College Athletic Program added one to their department.

"We've had two students that have died from cardiac arrest," said Athletic Director Nancy Abraham. And she does recommend the device.

"Not just in athletics, but everywhere people are gathered because research has shown it can make a difference," Abraham said.

The defibrillator can be a life saver, but it's even more important for people to know CPR.

"In just about everybody we resuscitate, probably 90 percent, somebody is there on the scene that knows how to do effective CPR," said EMS Director Bobby Price.

Proof that CPR performed by trained people can save lives just as well as these machines.

The cost of the AED is about 25-hundred dollars.

posted on Feb. 27 at 10:50 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com

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