SGMC donates defibrillators - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

SGMC donates defibrillators

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April 20, 2004

Valdosta - Its a small, simple machine that could save your life. "It senses an irregular heart rhythm and delivers a counter shock which then helps to reset the electrical current through the heart," said Charles Wilson, Paramedic.

He's talking about an automatic external defibrillator. If used soon enough after a person goes into cardiac arrest, this device can can increase the chances of survival by 50 percent. "Countershock or defibrillation is the most beneficial treatment a patient can receive, the sooner the better because very second is beneficial," said Wilson.

Tuesday, South Georgia Medical Center made a life-saving donation. "What we're doing is putting defibrillators in the community's hands, so before the paramedics ever arrive, they can receive that lifesaving shock from a person with minimal training," said Wilson.

The defibrillators will be placed at four different locations in town, the Conference Center, Langdale Place Assisted Living, the Senior Citizens Center, and the Airport Fire Station. "The locations we picked were areas of high concern where we have people prone to cardiovascular disease," said Wilson.

Senior Citizens Center Director Tracy Quarles says the machine will be especially beneficial at her facility, where dozens of seniors take part in line dancing and other aerobic activities. "Having this here at the center will be a big help because of the activities they're involved in, they're becoming more and more active and sometimes they may do a little too much," said Tracy Quarles, Director of the Senior Citizens Center.

But if something does go wrong, these seniors will get the treatment they need to keep on dancing.

posted at 3:10 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com