Adirondack Pop Warner Football Receives Grant for Lifesaving Semi-Automated External Defibrillator - 5/3/2017

Adirondack Pop Warner Football Receives Grant for Lifesaving Semi-Automated External Defibrillator-5/3/2017

The Adirondack Pop Warner Football Association is now equipped with new semi-automated external defibrillators, thanks to an underwriting grant from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. With the device, known as an AED, Adirondack Pop Warner is better equipped to respond to a sudden cardiac arrest. “In a rural area such as Boonville, first responders can be several minutes or more away. Having an AED on our field is invaluable to the safety of our children, coaches and fans,” said Adirondack Pop Warner Football Association President Morgan Cady. “We have been trying to obtain one for a few years, but the cost was prohibitive. Thanks to this grant from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, we will now have our AED at every practice and event.” Minutes can save lives. The current national survival rate for sudden cardiac arrest is less than 5 percent. The American Heart Association estimates that 50,000 lives would be spared every year if AEDs were readily available to cardiac arrest victims. “In a cardiac emergency, it’s important to have an AED within reach since the likelihood of resuscitation decreases by about 10 percent with every minute that passes,” said Dr. Richard Vienne, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield vice president and chief medical officer. An AED is the size of a child’s lunchbox, and is used in cases of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias in which the heart is electrically active, but in a dysfunctional pattern that doesn’t allow it to pump and circulate blood. This abrupt loss of function is known as cardiac arrest and, if not treated within minutes, quickly leads to death. The unit delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart that can stop an irregular rhythm and allow a normal rhythm to resume. It also coaches the user in the proper administration of CPR, including providing a metronome beat to help the user count and time CPR chest compressions. Immediate use of an AED, in conjunction with CPR, offers a chance at survival. The AEDs underwritten by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield are manufactured by Philips. Each is semi-automated and issues voice commands that instruct the user on how and where to connect sensor pads to the patient. The pads allow the AED to examine the electrical output from the heart and determine if the patient is in a shockable rhythm (either ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia). If the device determines a shock is warranted, it will provide instruction to the user on how to deliver the electrical charge. If the sensors don’t detect a shockable rhythm, the device will not allow a shock to be administered. Note: For patients who present a “flat line” (the absence of any cardiac electrical activity), the AED will state that no shock is advised. For those patients, the only chance for survival is to try to establish a shockable rhythm through CPR, which is why it is imperative that CPR is carried out immediately, even prior to the arrival of an AED or medical professionals.