Humboldt Museum Has New AED to Protect Visitors

Winnemucca’s Humboldt Museum is now an official member of the “HeartShare” family.

The North Central Nevada Historical Society, the board that operates the museum, recently purchased an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for placement in one of the building’s main exhibit areas—protecting any visitor who might suffer a sudden cardiac arrest.

More than 500,000 will die this year from sudden cardiac arrest, and many who die will have had no presenting symptoms at all for heart disease.

Across the country, casinos, industrial sites, health clubs and airports are being equipped with Automated External Defibrillators to prevent sudden cardiac arrests — disruptions in the heart’s normal rhythm — from proving deadly.

In Winnemucca, 228 of the units have been placed since 2005 through Humboldt General Hospital’s Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) program, “HeartShare.”

According to HGH EMS Rescue, rescuers have just 10 minutes to act in the event of sudden cardiac arrest, which makes having an AED a true lifesaver. Survival rates decrease by 7 percent to 10 percent for every minute that goes by without treatment.

The electric shock delivered by the device briefly stops all electrical activity in the heart, which gives the organ a chance to resume its normal rhythm.

Studies show using AED-type devices double victims’ survival rates.

In late 2005, HGH EMS Rescue was successful in acquiring 11 of the units through federal grant funding that was facilitated through the Nevada Rural AED and Nevada EMS Public Access Defibrillation programs.

Then in January 2006, the Humboldt County Hospital District Board of Trustees agreed to purchase nine more of the units for distribution to priority locations within Winnemucca and Humboldt County.

Soon thereafter, the Humboldt Hospital Auxiliary generously funded 19 more to be placed in the county’s schools and rural community centers. Since that time, several private businesses and organizations have also opted to purchase the units.

In all, the hospital’s goal of placing 200 AED units in public and private venues throughout Humboldt County has been surpassed.

North Central Nevada Historical Society Board President Judy Adams—who is also president of the Humboldt Hospital Auxiliary—suggested the purchase.

“We thought it would be a good thing to have,” said Adams. “If it succeeds in saving even one life, then the purchase is worth it.”

HGH EMS Rescue Chief Sean Burke said he was grateful to the Humboldt Museum board for their forward thinking.

“When you compare the cost of an AED versus the value of a human life, there really is no question that we need more of these units in the community,” he said. “We are very grateful to the museum for making this a priority.”

For more information on the Humboldt General Hospital Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) program, “HeartShare,” please contact AED Program Manager Julianna Obregon at (775) 623-5222, ext. 1363.


Photo Cutline: The Humboldt Museum is the latest member of the “HeartShare” Public Access Defibrillator program after the North Central Nevada Historical Society decided to purchase an AED. Board and staff members include, from left to right: President Judy Adams, Karen Rogers, Liz Chabot, Charlie Engstrom, Vice President Andree Richards, Dick Robie, Secretary Regina Smith, Skip Hammargren, Mary Fenton, Executive Director Dana Toth, Treasurer John Arant and Administrative Assistant Jerry Leon.