ACH Celebrated Hospital Week with AED Dedication Ceremony
On Friday, May 13th, the last official day of Hospital Week 2011, the staff of Alliance Community capped off their celebration with a formal dedication of three new automatic external defibrillators.
“We’re so proud to be standing here in front of you today, unveiling these AEDs,” said Karen Campf, RN, BSN, CCRN, Director of Nursing Educational Services at ACH.
The AEDs are located in the main lobbies of the hospital and its Professional Office Building, as well as in its adjacent exercise center, “The Sweat Shop.”
Campf thanked the dozens of staff members in attendance not only for participating in the ceremony but also for funding the project.
“These AEDs are the result of the staff’s benevolence through the 2009 Colleague Campaign, during which more than $3,000 was raised specifically for this cause. Particularly now, during Hospital Week, we want to honor the staff that has had the forethought and philanthropy to invest in a program which has the potential to do so much good for so many,” said Connie Poulton, SPHR, Vice President of Colleague Relations at ACH.
Campf told the audience that, from a health and safety standpoint, AEDs are a vital tool. She noted that, traditionally, only trained medical professionals were able to interpret the heart rhythms on manual defibrillator devices. However, with the use AEDs, embedded computer chips to analyze the rhythms instantly and accurately, making it possible for non-medical professionals to administer the same vital service without risking an accidental shock.
“Although we are in a hospital and have trained clinicians at the ready around the clock, there are times of medical emergency in which every second counts and that’s why we wanted to be certain that we could offer this added safety step for our colleagues and visitors. I’ve personally seen AEDs save lives,” she said.
According to the American Heart Association, every minute of every day in the U.S., sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) claims a victim. SCA occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart become blocked, the flow of blood which carries oxygen to the heart is slowed or stopped, and the muscle fibers contract chaotically rather than in synch with each other as they normally do. SCA survival rates increase dramatically when there is early access to a defibrillator.
Campf said manual defibrillators work by giving the heart a controlled electric shock, forcing all the heart muscles to contract at once, and, ideally jolting it back into a regular rhythm. She will be leading a team in AED in the near future.
ACH Colleagues (from left to right) Director of Quality Services Sue Feller, Director of Cardio Pulmonary Services BJ Hatton, Director of Nursing Educational Services Karen Campf, Director of Critical Care Units Debbie Clemens, and ICU/PCU Coordinator Becky Glista were part of the dedication ceremony.