By Doyice Cotten
This is not the first time that automated external defibrillators (AED’s) have been discussed in this column. But once again a life has been saved by their use. South Carolina State was playing North Carolina State in basketball when Ty Solomon, a SCS senior collapsed on the sideline.
He had played almost four minutes and was rotated out. While resting on the bench he was talking with a teammate, collapsed unconscious, stopped breathing, and had no heart beat. The team trainer spotted him on the floor and immediately started CPR. Reports are unclear about the immediate order, but within seconds, the N.C. State team physician joined in to help; the N.C. State athletic trainer, Austin Frank, arrived with an AED that is kept behind the N.C. State bench during games; and the Wake County EMS arrived. The AED was used to apply shock to the victim, who had no previous cardiac issues.
The heart beat was soon restored and the Solomon was rushed to a cardiac medical center. All agreed that the prompt use of CPR and the AED prevented a tragedy in PNC Arena.
If you aren’t familiar with AED’s, google AED. Every school and sport-related business should have at least one; more, if the facility is large. I hear two reasons for not having one:
- Cost: They are not free, but prices begin as low as five or six hundred dollars. Would saving a life be worth that expense? Persons suffering from sudden cardiac arrest can be helped by CPR alone, but statistics show that 90 to 95 percent of persons die if there is no AED.
- Liability: Just last month someone was reluctant to buy one because of liability if it were misused. There are AED Good Samaritan Statutes in every state as well as a federal statute that helps protect volunteers.
We hear of a Perfect Storm in which several factors come together to wreak havoc. In this case, we had the Perfect Antidote – CPR was done immediately. A physician was on hand. An AED was quickly available and applied within two or three minutes. EMS was immediately available. The victim was transported immediately to a cardiac care facility. Hence, a good result and a “sudden cardiac arrest survivor.”
Risk Management Take-Away
- Get enough AED’s for your program.
- Train your staff in how to use them – and when.
- Put them where they are immediately available.
- Set up a schedule for checking and replacing their batteries.
Photo Credit: Thanks to Divya via Flickr.