Lack of defibrillators on campus disturbing

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

To the editor:
We are writing to express our concern regarding the lack of Public Access Automated External Defibrillators (PADs/AEDs) available on campus.

The use of an AED in addition to CPR can greatly improve a person’s chance of survival if used within the first few minutes after cardiac arrest has occurred. For every minute delay before defibrillation, the survival rate of a cardiac arrest victim decreases by seven to 10 per cent. After more than 12 minutes of ventricular fibrillation, the survival rate of adults is less than five per cent.

We understand people may be concerned about the AEDs being used inappropriately, however they are very user-friendly. After you turn the device on, it prompts you with voice, text, and lights as to where to place the pads and when to press a button that delivers the shock.

AEDs only shock people who have certain types of cardiac rhythms, so they will only deliver a shock to a person who needs it. Public access AEDs are becoming very common in recreation centres, businesses and malls, so why not at Western?

There are currently only three AEDs on campus at any given time â€" one in the Thompson Recreation and Athletic Centre, one in Student Health Services and one in a backpack on one of three on-call SERT members.

Brain death occurs within four to six minutes after cardiac arrest ... but it takes more than six minutes to get from Talbot College to Brescia University College or Huron University College.

Brock University, which has a much smaller campus than Western, has 10 AEDs on its campus. Why is the administration at Brock so much farther ahead of us? It seems our campus is not as safe as it could be.
â€"Heather Evans,
Trish Grady,
Kathryn Race,
Amanda Tiraborrelli,
Lindsay Warren
Nursing IV

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