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UCC programme aimed at saving lives
[Posted: Fri 27/02/2009 by Joanne McCarthy www.irishhealth.com]
UCC is to launch the second phase of a programme aimed at saving lives from sudden cardiac death.
The First Responder Automatic External Defibrillation (AED) Programme began on a pilot basis in 2007 and is now being expanded with the provision of AEDs and a group of trained volunteer operators at a further 25 locations on and off campus.
In the event of a cardiac arrest, where the heart suddenly stops pumping because of a disturbance in its rhythm, the key to saving a victim’s life is the rapid restoration of the heart’s normal rhythm and the early provision of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
AEDs are designed to allow non-medical trained personnel save lives by delivering an electric shock that restores the heart’s normal rhythm. Two pads connected to the defibrillator are placed on the collapsed victim’s chest. The heart rhythm is analysed to determine if a shock is required, and voice prompts then guide the trained user through saving the person’s life.
In the pilot phase in 2007, some 40 volunteer operators were trained, with recruits from all disciplines within the university community. The programme is now being expanded to include 35 AEDs, with over 180 AED trained volunteer operators available at locations on and off campus.
Dr Michael Byrne, head of student health Services in UCC, explained that the faster you can provide defibrillation to a collapsed victim in cardiac arrest, the greater their chances of survival.
“By having AEDs available in a wide number of locations, with a large number of trained personnel willing to use them, we are making UCC a safer place, for students, staff and visitors alike,” he said.
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