UH News

University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center Donates Cardiac Defibrillators to Sheriff’s Office

Monday, February 16, 2015

Geauga County Public Library and Department on Aging Staff Trained for Immediate Response

GEAUGA COUNTY – University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center is putting life-saving technology into the hands – literally – of the communities it serves. The hospital donated 15 new automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office for use in department vehicles by first responders.

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Heart Association, and AEDs have been shown to dramatically increase the survival rate for victims. The newest AEDs electronically analyze a victim’s heart rhythm and prompt the rescuer to deliver a shock when necessary.

“The best way for out-of-hospital cardiac-arrest survival rates to improve is to have trained rescuers with the proper resources delivering immediate care to patients,” said M. Steven Jones, President, UH Geauga Medical Center. “Every minute counts for improved outcomes of sudden cardiac arrest.”

The Sheriff’s Office, in a “pay-it-forward” gesture, gathered its existing AEDs and returned them to UH Geauga Medical Center for refurbishing. The hospital then presented the overhauled AEDs to the Geauga County Department on Aging and Geauga County Public Library. Each organization distributed the AEDs among its multiple locations throughout the county.

“We enjoy a great partnership with UH Geauga, and this is another example of that cooperation and community commitment,” said Scott Hildenbrand, Chief Deputy, Geauga County Sheriff’s Office. “We are proud to help out the libraries and senior centers with the reconditioned AEDs. Hopefully they’ll never be used but it is comforting to know that they’re on site if needed.”

AEDs are of little value unless people know how to use them. So UH Geauga Medical Center’s community outreach and education team provided cardiopulmonary resuscitation and AED training to library staff in January and to Department on Aging personnel this month.

“Our staff are all trained in first aid and CPR, including AEDs,” said Jessica N. Boalt, MMT, MT-BC, Director, Geauga County Department on Aging. “Providing a safe environment for all who access our senior centers is very important. Through the AED donation and training we assure those who use our facilities that we are prepared to respond.”

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