HeartShare AED Program
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 life-saving defibrillation that can take
place through the use of an Automated External Defibrillator, or AED.
Understanding Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Sudden cardiac arrest usually results from some underlying form of heart
disease. Most cardiac arrests are due to abnormal heart rhythms called
arrhythmias. Ventricular fibrillation—the most common arrhythmia
that causes cardiac arrest—is a condition in which the heart's
electrical impulses become erratic. This causes a functioning, pumping
heart to abruptly stop. When sudden cardiac arrest occurs, the victim
loses consciousness, has no pulse and stops breathing normally. This condition
becomes lethal within minutes.
Across the nation, it takes an ambulance crew a little over eight minutes
to reach victims of sudden cardiac arrest. However, four minutes following
a cardiac incident, the chance of a victim's survival decreases by
10 percent with each passing minute. That's why AEDs are so important.
With one-button operation, these devices can restore the heart to a normal
rhythm within seconds.
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.
Humboldt General Hospital AED Program
Humboldt General Hospital 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 Automated External Defibrillator 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.
Please click here for a map of AEDs in the HeartShare program area.
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
Purchase an AED
If you are a private business or organization, please give serious consideration
to purchasing an AED for on-site access. Humboldt General Hospital's
AED Program can help facilitate your purchase; we also can provide the
- 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 HeartShare Program Administrator Debbie
Whittaker 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 co-workers—who may not survive a sudden
cardiac arrest without your generosity. Please contact HeartShare Program
Administrator Debbie Whittaker at (775) 623-5222 to discuss this life-saving
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 9-1-1 operator to locate the nearest unit
and save crucial time. Please contact HeartShare Program Administrator
Debbie Whittaker at (775) 623-5222 to share your information.