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  • Writer's pictureClay County

Clay County Schools Receive Defibrillators

Hayesville, N.C. – Union General has announced that it will donate two much-needed automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to Clay County Schools. Each of these defibrillators will be placed in strategic locations within the school campuses. Union General Chief Executive Officer, Lewis Kelley, explained that, “the donation of this equipment will provide the schools with the ability to safely treat cardiac arrests on their campuses. Union General has already contributed the same equipment to both Towns and Union Counties and will continue to support schools in the region to provide them with the highest standard of lifesaving equipment possible.”

AEDs enable even laypersons to administer the necessary treatment. Modern AEDs also won't allow people to shock a victim that has a heartbeat, which reduces the risk of doing more harm than good and preventing people from stepping in to help.

According to the American Heart Association, there are good reasons for AEDs to be onsite. They save critical treatment time and improve survival odds -- a patient's chance of survival from cardiac arrest is decreased by approximately 10% with each minute that passes. It is therefore crucial that defibrillation is provided within the first few minutes after a person suffers cardiac arrest.

It should be noted in the absence of an AED that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can still delay the damage to the heart, allowing for a slightly longer time for effective defibrillation. CPR alone, however, won’t restore the heart's normal electrical function, thus it is imperative to perform both CPR and defibrillate the heart within the first few minutes after a cardiac arrest to give the sufferer the best chance of survival.

Ricky Lancaster, Director of the County’s Emergency Management Services said, “of the sudden cardiac arrest deaths that occur each year, more than 95 percent of the victims die before they reach the hospital. Having AEDs located at the schools will greatly improve the likelihood of survival of students, staff and visitors who may suffer an unfortunate case of cardiac arrest.”

County Manager Mark Pullium applauded Union General for its commitment to improving access to high quality healthcare in the County. Commissioner Dr. Robert Peck said, “The donation of these devices is in line with their vision to provide state of the art equipment and facilities to the citizens of Clay County. This will strengthen our quest to provide a safer and more secure environment for all students, faculty and staff of the Clay County Schools System.”

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