AEDs on Campus

 

In an effort to increase the survival rate of those who suffer from sudden cardiac arrest, the presence of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) has increased throughout the nation. These portable devices restore normal heart contractions through the use of electric shock. Airports, universities and other high-traffic areas have especially put emphasis on having AEDs readily available.

 

As of this spring, NMU implemented an AED policy of its own. Dr. Tom Schacht (Health Center) said that the long-term goal of the policy is to have AEDs set up at various locations across campus, and also to have staff members from each location trained in using the devices and other life-support techniques.

 

“It’ll be a safer campus for students, staff, faculty and guests by having them all over when they’re needed,” said Schacht. “In a way, we hope we don’t end up having to use them, but at the same time we’re glad that we now have them.”

 

AEDs have already been placed in the Superior Dome and the PEIF, and employees at these locations are being trained in their use. Schacht said this training will probably become part of the regular job description for future student and maintenance workers there.

 

Prior to the policy, AEDs were only available through Public Safety officers, who kept them in the backs of their vehicles. Ken Chant (Public Safety) said that he is pleased with the progress that the policy has made so far.

 

“This is a terrific start," Chant said. "The old method worked as long as we were able to immediately respond to the location. Having the units in buildings with trained staff will be much more effective.”

 

Schacht said that the next step will be to implement AEDs in student housing, food service areas and other “hot spots” on campus. 

 

“This is going to be a lengthy process, so we can’t really conceive a timeline for when AEDs will be available at all of the locations,” he said.

 

In the meantime, the devices will still be available through Public Safety. For more information, go to AED Policy.

 

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Updated: July 19, 2006

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