If your heart ever failed you and you had a heart attack wouldn't you want someone to jump start it? An automated external defibrillator is like jumper cables for your heart, here's more on the Avera Heart Hospital's program to update those AED's.
It's good to see so much activity at the Avera Heart Hospital of South Dakota, especially on update your AED day.
Since 2004, the Avera Heart Hospital, along with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue and the United Way have helped place 600 Automated External Defibrillators in businesses, schools, and churches (to name a few). Folks were coming in to get them checked and the software updated on Tuesday February 12th.
Registered Nurse Kym Osterberg says, "In 2005 the American Heart Association changed their guidelines. They said we need to have more emphasis on compressions. Pushing on the heart, pushing on the chest in order to get the blood delivered to the tissues in order to get that oxygen and those nutrients to where they need to go. We still need to shock people. It's important to restart the heart when the engine stops so instead of going 3 shocks at a time, like we used to, these are being re-programmed to do the first shock and go back to doing those compressions. Go back to doing CPR.
Osterberg is the Education Coordinator at the Avera Heart Hospital and does AED and CPR training. She says the faster you can get an AED on the unresponsive person the better the outcome. She says once they stop breathing you only have 2 to 3 minutes before long lasting damage sets in.
Kerri DeGraff from the Sioux Empire United Way was also in line to get the upgrade. Their offices are located in the non-profit center in Sioux Falls and they have the AED centrally located so anyone coming in to the building or people working there have access to it. She says, " At any moment something could happen and if you are with people who don't know CPR you could set this down and it will walk me through everything I need to do so it's definitely a reassurance that it's there."
Two other signs to look for are the battery signs, to make sure the battery in the AED is charged. If it shows OK, all is good. The batteries last about 2 to 2 1/2 years but you should check them every month. You want to make sure the battery has plenty of life in it because the life it saves may be your own.
If you want to take CPR classes contact Heart Starters at (605) 371-2276 or Sioux Falls Fire Rescue and ask for Kelly Grogan (605) 367-8271