Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) are a proven method of reducing morbidity and mortality from sudden cardiac arrest (heart attack). An AED is a device that attaches to a victim’s chest to assess the heart’s rhythm and, if needed, automatically recommends whether or not a shock should be delivered to correct the heart’s rhythm. An adult who has just gone into sudden cardiac arrest is most likely in urgent need of defibrillation and a metered electrical charge can often restore the heart to healthy function and save a life. To provide a realistic chance of survival, defibrillation must be available soon after cardiac arrest.
University Health Services, the University Police Department, and the Athletics Department have stand-alone AED programs coordinated by their departments to ensure training, equipment, and compliance requirements are met. All other departments that place AEDs in service within their area come under a campus-wide Automatic External Defibrillator Program managed under Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S). A representative from EH&S acts as the AED coordinator for the University and is the liaison between the Medical Director for western Massachusetts, the local fire department, and the University. Any department wishing to purchase an AED and become part of the University’s program should contact Robert Laford.