WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – 15 AED machines were donated to various groups in Beaufort County by Vidant Beaufort Hospital. Nine of those machines were given to Beaufort County Schools.
High schools in the county already had AED machines, but the donation will increase the number in each of those schools, and add one AED in each of the middle schools.
“They’re important because they’ve been proven to save lives,” said Cindy Edwards, lead nurse for Beaufort County Schools.
Edwards said when the district looked into buying machines like this themselves, they were over $2,000 a piece. That was a price they couldn’t afford. She said the donation will enable them to have better coverage in schools.
“We try to have them as easily accessibly as possible. We also take into account what sporting events are happening at the time,” she said.
The donated AED machines are extremely easy to use, and give voice commands that will walk someone through the process. Edwards said they still are encouraging staff to become familiar with the machines in case they are needed.
Lt. Bryan Lilley, a paramedic in Washington, said AED machines significantly increase the likelihood of survival with a patient in cardiac arrest.
“Every minute that passes from time of collapse to time you have defibrillation, you’re losing a 7 to 10 percent chance of survival,” Lilley said.
Lilley said having these machines already in the community will help get immediate critical care to a patient while an ambulance is in route. He also said the machines are safe to use by anyone.
“It’s able to analyze the rhythm itself, and will only allow the machine to shock, or the subject to be shocked, if it interprets a specific rhythm,” he said.
Edwards said she hopes the new machines are up and operating at schools soon.