WILMINGTON – When a person goes into sudden cardiac arrest, there are three steps bystanders can take that could mean the difference between life and death. The first step is to call 911, the second is to perform continuous chest compressions until help arrives, and the third is to utilize an automated external defibrillator (AED) if one is available. Recently, New Hanover Regional Medical Center teamed up with Miracle League of Wilmington to ensure that players, volunteers and families knew these steps and were trained on how to perform them.
Miracle League of Wilmington is an organization that provides team sports opportunities to children and young adults with disabilities. Each week, approximately 60 players, their families and dozens of volunteers gather at Miracle Field, a specially-designed baseball field that can accommodate players of all abilities. New Hanover Regional Medical Center Rehabilitation Hospital sponsors one of the teams and helps coach the players on how to swing, how to get on base and how to catch the ball. With so many people gathered for this enthusiastic sport every week, staff members from the NHRMC Rehabilitation Hospital and the NHRMC Heart Center realized that an AED was needed on site. That’s when David Parks, Vice President of Cardiac Services at NHRMC, stepped in.
“Cardiac emergencies can happen at any time and when they do, every second counts. That’s why we recommend AEDs be available anywhere large crowds gather and we recommend that everyone should be trained in Hands-Only CPR,” Parks said. “We are proud to donate this AED to the Miracle League of Wilmington in the hopes that it is never used, but knowing that the volunteers are prepared in case it is needed.”
In addition to donating the AED, Parks coordinated with NHRMC EMS Education Coordinator David Glendenning to offer training for the families and volunteers to learn how to use the AED and to learn the Hands-Only CPR technique. Dozens of people were trained, including Bo Dean, Director of ACCESS of Wilmington.
“We serve a diverse population, so it is imperative for us to have this kind of life-saving device available to us,” Dean said. “I have seen first-hand how unexpectedly cardiac events can happen and how devastating they can be. NHRMC is giving us the gift of life.”
To learn more about the importance of AEDs and Hands-Only CPR, click here.
New Hanover Regional Medical Center is the leading provider of quality and accessible health care in Southeastern North Carolina, delivering care to all in need, without the support of taxpayer dollars. The medical center takes seriously its responsibility as an economic engine for the community, creating more than 6,000 jobs directly and another 6,000 jobs indirectly.