Life-saving technology from Humboldt General Hospital
Sudden cardiac arrest is the nation's leading cause of death. Over 465,000 Americans die each year from this medical emergency. However, survival rates can improve dramatically by shortening the time between sudden cardiac arrest and the lifesaving defibrillation that can take place through the use of an Automated External Defibrillator, or AED.
AEDs are designed for use by the public. These devices analyze a victim's cardiac activity and, if/when necessary, deliver an electrical shock to the heart to reverse sudden cardiac arrest and resume normal functioning. These machines provide clear voice directions and automatic analysis to enable a person with minimal medical training to use the device. The even better news is that having trained lay rescuers equipped with AEDs in settings where large numbers of people congregate saves precious minutes and improves survival rates for victims of sudden cardiac arrest.
HGH AED program
HGH has launched a community AED program in an effort to improve the survival rates of patients who suffer sudden cardiac arrest by providing better access to AED devices. Our AED program also provides AED education to these patients, empowering them with the knowledge and confidence they need to better manage their health.
Since 2006, HGH's Public Access to Defibrillation (PAD) program, HeartShare, has succeeded in placing more than 200 AED units in governmental offices, schools, community centers, and high-traffic businesses in Humboldt, Lander, and Pershing counties. Additionally, all first responders in the Winnemucca area carry AEDs in their vehicles.
EMS personnel have also succeeded in training dozens of response teams in CPR and AED use. EMS also offers updates and refresher courses for new hires and recertification every two years or more often as needed for all teams.
Our invitation to you
Our ultimate goal is to make AEDs as accessible as fire extinguishers by distributing units to even more public venues throughout Humboldt County, and by facilitating purchases by private businesses and organizations. We also have opportunities for local service clubs and organizations to donate an AED to a community venue. We need our community residents to help one another while the ambulance is on the way. We are here to support your efforts.
Purchase an AED
If you are a private business or organization, please give serious consideration to purchasing an AED for on-site access. HGH's AED Program can help facilitate your purchase; we also can provide the following benefits:
- Medical direction. Our medical director will provide you with medical protocols, which are based upon national emergency and cardiac care guidelines.
- Emergency response plan. We will work with your staff to develop and/or review an emergency response plan that will address everything from identifying your communication network to establishing AED policies, procedures, and return-to-service protocols following deployment.
- Training. HGH paramedics and EMTs will train your in-house response team in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and the proper use of the AED. As you hire new employees who will be designated as AED operators, they can be conveniently trained at one of HGH EMS Rescue's regularly scheduled community Heartsaver CPR/AED training sessions.
- Quality assurance and support. The HGH AED Program provides timely review and feedback on incident outcomes by reviewing the AED machine clinical data, ambulance patient reports, and hospital follow-up information. HGH also will provide recommendations to identify where more training or procedural changes can benefit your program. The HGH AED Program will keep the records and documents pertaining to your training status.
For more information, please call the HeartShare Program Administrator at 775.623.5222.
Donate an AED
If your service club or organization is looking for a meaningful way to benefit our community, please consider donating the cost of an AED unit. Upon purchase, that unit will be placed in a high-traffic community location. Your support will help save the lives of local cardiac arrest victims—our friends, neighbors, and coworkers—who may not survive a sudden cardiac arrest without your generosity. Please contact the HeartShare Program Administrator at 775.623.5222 to discuss this lifesaving opportunity.
Share information about your AED
If you already own an AED, it is very important that you register your unit with HGH's HeartShare Program. In the event of an emergency, this will allow a 911 operator to locate the nearest unit and save crucial time. Please contact the HeartShare Program Administrator at 775.623.5222 to share your information.
AED loan program
An AED can give a second chance to a person suffering cardiac arrest. An AED is a lightweight, portable device that delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart. The shock can stop an irregular rhythm and allow a normal heart rhythm to resume.
However, to be effective, AEDs must also be at hand. A victim's chance of survival drops by 7% to 10% for every minute a normal heartbeat isn't restored.
While these devices are common in many businesses, schools, and public venues, many gatherings and events take place without one nearby. To help make this lifesaving technology more readily available, we are proud to announce the HGH EMS Rescue AED Loan Program.
Request an AED loan
By completing an AED Loan Request Form, you can request an AED unit on a temporary basis, free of charge! If you are an event organizer or are in charge of planning a significant group happening, consider the following:
- Does the host venue lack AEDs?
- Are any of the attendees at risk for cardiac arrest such as elderly guests, athletes engaging in strenuous activities, or a specific guest with a known history of cardiac episodes?
- Are you planning a large-scale event with more than 50 people?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, getting a loaned AED from HGH EMS Rescue may be a wise step toward ensuring that your event is as safe as you can make it.
What kinds of events could benefit from having an AED on loan from HGH EMS Rescue?
- Community events.
- Company picnics.
- Activities for groups of elderly participants.
- Large family or neighborhood gatherings.
- Sporting or athletic events.
HGH EMS Rescue's AED Loan Program is free and available for events within the HGH EMS Rescue service area. Requests must be received no later than two weeks in advance and will be reviewed subject to unit and training availability.
Once your request has been approved, HGH EMS Rescue will schedule you for chest compression training and a review of the AED instruction video. (For those with an active CPR certification card, the chest compression training is optional.) Then, an AED unit will be issued to you for your requested event. The unit must be returned to HGH EMS Rescue following your event.
Training, unit pickup and return are available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For weekend events, units may be picked up the Friday prior to the event and returned the following Monday.
Considering the prevalence of heart disease in the United States, having an AED on hand can give you peace of mind and could make a lifesaving difference for one of your event guests.