If someone were to suffer from a sudden cardiac arrest they need a shock to their heart as soon as possible. An AED, which stands for Automatic External Defibrillator, is the best device to save that person’s life. First year Joe Thayer is working hard to get AEDs widespread and easy to access on campus.
As of right now most of Gustavus’ AEDs are in locations difficult for students to access. In the case of an emergency situation the minutes it takes to retrieve the AED can be costly.
“When a person suffers a sudden cardiac arrest every minute lost decreases their chance of survival by 7 to 10 percent,” Thayer said, “making those first few minutes crucial.”
If someone collapses it is important to immediately call 911, begin CPR and use the AED as soon as possible.
AEDs are designed to be simple, “in a recent study a sixth grader operated an AED just 23 seconds slower than a trained EMT,” Thayer said.
The AED walks the user through every step needed for it to operate correctly; it even tells you exactly where to place the pads. The AED even scans the victim’s heart to determine if a shock is necessary, preventing accidents or even prank uses.
“Anyone can suffer from a sudden cardiac arrest, it doesn’t matter how old or fit you are,” Thayer said.
There have been several cases of athletes suffering from sudden cardiac arrests, and even in some cases dying because of them. As awareness about this condition spreads Thayer wants Gustavus to set an example for Minnesota schools on AED accessibility.
Thayer has been working with Allina’s Heart Safe Community program to purchase the AEDs and even had an Allina representative walk through campus, and made suggestions to assure Gustavus gets certified.
“Gustavus would be the only school in the MIAC to be certified,” Thayer said with a smile.
Thayer has been working with Campus Safety and Health Services to set his plan into action. Their plan is to put the first two publically placed AEDs in the Campus Center and Lund, with additional placements recommended to be in the Chapel, Bjorling, Nobel and possibly Beck. An AED has already been put in place next to the Bookmark and the second will be put by Lund’s Gold Desk later next week.
When asked why he was working so hard at this Thayer said, “I want to leave a mark and make a difference with my life and not just pass through on autopilot. Whether what I do is small or large I do not care so long as it makes someone’s life better.”