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New AEDs Improve Safety

New AEDs Improve Safety

The school recently purchased and installed 12 new AEDs, or automated external defibrillators, throughout campus.

When a medical emergency happens outside of a medical setting, AEDs can mean the difference between life or death. The portable, electronic device diagnoses life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias and is able to treat them through defibrillation—a controlled electric shock—via easy-to-follow directions.

AEDs, or automated external defibrillators, have played an important role in USM’s emergency response protocol for many years. The school recently purchased and installed 12 new ZOLL AED 3® defibrillators—replacing 10 that were approaching the end of their useful life and adding two more. The school also provides training for CPR and use of the new AED machines to all employees, which is renewed every two years.

Teachers participate in a hands-on AED training session.

“For every minute that passes in a cardiac event, the chance of survival decreases significantly,” said Kathleen Roebber, head school nurse. “USM is a big campus, so we’re very fortunate to have 12 AEDs. No matter where you are in the buildings, there is an AED nearby.” In addition, USM’s athletic trainer brings an AED to sporting events.

The new defibrillators provide real-time CPR feedback on the rate and depth of chest compressions, give visual and audible feedback to the rescuer on CPR quality, include pads that work for both adults and children, and use a five-year smart battery that can report its power status.

Since 2018, USM has been a designated Project ADAM Heart Safe School, the first school in the North Shore area to achieve the distinction. Project ADAM is an initiative that seeks to prevent sudden cardiac death via a series of annual activities including conducting drills, establishing an emergency response team, and ensuring AEDs are available, accessible, and maintained.

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