ASHLAND, KY — The King’s Daughters Health Foundation contributed 30 automatic external defibrillators, or AEDs, to community agencies throughout Boyd and Greenup Counties.
This new initiative is designed to improve public access to AEDs, small portable devices that deliver a potentially lifesaving electric shock to the hearts of victims suffering from cardiac arrest. Studies show the most effective way to revive a heart attack patient is with CPR and the use of an AED. The quicker the response, the greater the chance of survival, says Charles Borders, KDMC Health Foundation director.
“More than 90 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims who receive defibrillation therapy within two minutes survive to be discharged from the hospital,” Borders says. “However, if more than 10 minutes elapse before defibrillation occurs, the chance of a victim’s survival is less than five percent. Quick access to an AED unit is needed to shock the heart back into pumping at its normal rhythm.”
In addition to the AED, agencies received two sets of adults pads and one set of pediatric pads, as well as an accessory kit that includes a CPR mask, scissors, razors, gloves, washcloths and alcohol prep pads. Each agency also will be trained on how to use the equipment, if they are not already qualified, says Fred L. Jackson, KDMC president/CEO.
“Placing AEDs in public places throughout the community provides an important public resource that could save the life of a heart attack victim,” Jackson says.
To determine the organizations that would receive the AEDs, KDMC Health Foundation committee members Dianne Clement, Dirk Payne and Ashland mayor Steve Gilmore, and KDMC Community Services director Regina Stout, consulted with numerous community and medical leaders, as well as the Emergency Management directors from Boyd and Greenup Counties, Matt Adkins and Dennis Bass.
“The American Heart Association’s criteria is clear that first responders, those police and fire departments who are always prepared to respond, should be equipped with AEDs first,” Stout says. “Our second step was to determine places with large crowds and where the risks may be higher based on the demographics of the audience, such as schools, shopping areas and parks.”
The following organizations are recipients of the new AEDs:
In the past two years, King’s Daughters has introduced several new programs to ensure emergency cardiac patients receive the fastest, most effective care:
Two years ago, KDMC launched Hearts In Action, a regional outreach initiative that added or upgraded EKG equipment on area ambulances allowing them to transmit test results via satellite phones to the Emergency Department.
Last year, KDMC introduced an air ambulance service, which speeds patients, particularly those who require emergency cardiac and vascular interventions, to the medical center for treatment. The copter has transported more than 240 patients from 26 different hospitals throughout the region.
Also last year, KDMC introduced Code: Heart, an initiative designed to streamline emergency cardiac care. National benchmarks for Door to Balloon (D2B) time—from the patients arrival to the intervention in the catheterization lab—is 90 minutes. At King’s Daughters, D2B time averages 60 minutes, with a best-ever time of 18 minutes.
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