Texas Arrhythmia Institute donates 20 AEDs to Rice

first_imgShare1CONTACT: B.J. AlmondPHONE: (713) 348-6770E-MAIL: [email protected] Arrhythmia Institute donates 20 AEDs to Rice  The Texas Arrhythmia Institute has donated 20 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to Rice University.The university will install the AEDs in select areas of campus with a high volume of people traffic and provide training on how to use the devices to faculty and staff members who work in those locations.”This life-saving gift from the Texas Arrhythmia Institute will increase the chances of survival for anyone who experiences the misfortune of a cardiac arrest while on our campus,” Rice President David W. Leebron said. ”We are indeed grateful for the institute’s generosity and touched by their thoughtful gesture to make our campus even safer.”The Texas Arrhythmia Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias – abnormal rhythms of the heart.  The donation to Rice was made in honor of the institute’s founder, the late Antonio Pacifico, a prominent Houston cardiologist who studied and treated cardiac arrhythmias until he was killed in a plane crash last year.  Cardiologist Valentina Ugolini, the institute’s chair, thought of donating the AEDs to Rice after reading a newspaper article about the death of Rice student Dale Lloyd. ”The risk of sudden death in college students is higher than it is in high school kids,” Ugolini said. ”Many people besides teachers and students come to the Rice campus. Athletes come from other schools to compete, scientists come for meetings, people run on the jogging path that surrounds the campus, and others come for social events. We wanted to make the whole campus safer for everyone by having automated external defibrillators located close enough to any area to be available within three to five minutes.”Lloyd, 19, was taken ill at the football stadium Sept. 24 after a light team workout.  He was treated immediately by Rice Emergency Medical Services (REMS) and then transported to the emergency room by a Houston Fire Department ambulance.  Due to acute exertional rhabdomyolysis associated with sickle cell trait, he died in the hospital the following morning. Lloyd did not suffer cardiac arrest or require an AED when he was taken ill. AEDs are computerized devices that can be used by emergency medical service providers and lay people to try to rescue someone who might be suffering cardiac arrest.The device is smaller than a laptop computer and is easy to use, thanks to voice and visual prompts that lead rescuers step by step. Two pads enclosed with the AED are attached to the victim’s chest. Electrical cords that connect the pads to the AED enable the device to analyze the victim’s heart rhythm and determine whether a defibrillation shock is needed. The device delivers a shock automatically, but only if needed. When an arrhythmia develops, the heart pump becomes less effective.  Rapid heart beating can interfere with the heart’s ability to deliver sufficient blood to the brain and other vital organs. If the most serious heart-rhythm disturbance – ventricular fibrillation – occurs, the lower chambers quiver and the heart cannot pump any blood, causing collapse and sudden cardiac death unless medical treatment is provided immediately.When someone collapses from an arrhythmia, ”you’ve got eight minutes to the beginning of brain death,” said Cathy Sunday, director of REMS. ”If the person receives cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation within the first five minutes of the collapse, there is about a 50 percent chance of total resuscitation, meaning they are likely to walk out of the hospital without any brain damage. If you get to them within two minutes, the chances of survival are even higher — about 80 percent.”Rice will need to purchase and install special cabinets to house each of the AEDs and make provisions to have the devices wired into the building’s fire-alarm system.  The cabinets are designed so that when the door is opened, a signal is sent to the Rice dispatch center. The dispatcher then sends REMS emergency medical technicians (EMT) and RUPD officers to the location, and the EMTs determine whether the dispatcher needs to call the Houston Fire Department.Sunday and Rice senior Dania Daye, who is operations lieutenant for REMS, have been studying the campus for the most strategic locations for the additional AEDs. They will consult architects in Rice’s Facilities, Engineering and Planning department about the best placement within the buildings selected for AED installation.Once the AEDs are installed, Sunday will schedule faculty and staff for the eight-hour CPR/heart-saver/AED/first-aid training course that REMS will teach on campus. Participants can receive American Heart Association (AHA) certification for completing the class. AHA recommends that certified individuals attend a recertification course every two years.Rice already has AEDs installed in five buildings, and the athletic trainers have one that they carry onto to the practice field. The Rice University Police Department and REMS also have defibrillators.  REMS is responsible for checking the AED cabinets once a month to ensure that the batteries and alarm are working and to restock pads if needed.According to the Texas Arrhythmia Institute, cardiac arrhythmia is the leading cause of death in the Western world, with someone in the U.S. dying instantly and unexpectedly every minute. ”Few people realize that an overwhelming majority of these fatalities are due to arrhythmia disturbances in the otherwise regular and automatic beating of the heart,” the institute’s Web site reads. ”Although approximately 75 percent of sudden-death victims have a history of heart disease or damage, arrhythmias can strike young and seemingly healthy men and women.” AddThislast_img

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