Life of Coach Saved with AED

by Doyice Cotten

The Longview News-Journal recently reported on life-saving measures taken by quick-reacting athletes and trainers when the track and field coach collapsed on the field. Once again, quick thinking, coupled with the availability of an AED, resulted in saving a life.

The fact that Longview (Texas) High School had an Automated External Defibrillator readily available (and personnel trained in its use) was the key to avoiding a tragic death. As soon as the coach collapsed, students ran to find the athletic trainers. The trainers grabbed the AED and rushed to the coach. They all realized that time was of the essence.

A number of states have statutes requiring schools, health clubs, and other facilities to have and maintain one or more AEDs. These have been proven to be effective life-saving instruments. AEDs are available for less than $1000 and up – a minor expense when you consider the life-saving potential.

Experts have estimated that more than 18,000 Americans have a shockable cardiac arrest that occurs in public with witnesses. Experience shows that EMS cannot always get to a site in 10 minutes or less; it also shows that if the delay is more than 10 minutes, treatment by EMS will usually be futile. Cardiac arrest can occur anywhere, anytime; likelihood of occurrence at sport, fitness, and recreation facilities is greater than in most other public facilities. All should be equipped with AEDs.

The facts are clear. What is saving a life worth? Why doesn’t your facility have an AED?

Photo Credit: Thanks to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers via Flickr.