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Lifesaving Mission: DU to Install 80 AEDs throughout its campus

The University of Denver will install 80 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) throughout DU facilities and campus as part of the American Red Cross’ “Save A Life Denver” program.

Save A Life Denver is a cooperative effort between the American Red Cross Mile High Chapter, Denver Health and Philips Healthcare.  The program is a public access defibrillation program that seeks to improve sudden cardiac arrest survival rates by making AEDs widely accessible to the public. The program’s goal is to place a minimum of 1,000 AED devices throughout Denver and train 10,000 individuals in Red Cross CPR/AED skills annually.

The University is purchasing half of the AEDs and the other half will be paid for by a grant from Save A Life Denver.

Gino Greco, regional CEO at the American Red Cross, said sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, claiming more than 300,000 lives each year. Defibrillation coupled with CPR is the only definitive treatment for SCA. It’s been estimated that over 40,000 more lives could be saved annually in the U.S. alone if AEDs were more widely available.

“The University of Denver is committed to the public good and providing a safe, secure environment, conducive to learning, living and working.  The installation of the AEDs enhances this effort. In addition, we plan to train more than 500 staff, faculty and students in lifesaving measures including AED use, CPR and first aid,” says Don Enloe, director of campus safety for DU. He notes that the American Red Cross has already trained about 200 people.

The University will have mobile AEDs in its Campus Safety patrol cars and will place the rest of the AEDs in high-use locations throughout the campus, starting with the Ritchie Center.

Save A Life Denver will exclusively distribute Philips HeartStart FRx Defibrillators. These devices were selected based on their easy-to-use design, durability, reliability and safety. These grant-funded devices are available at no cost to eligible businesses and Save A Life Denver offers all Colorado residents and businesses the opportunity to purchase AEDs at a specially discounted rate through 2013.

The AEDs are equipped with clear, calm voice commands to alert the responder of the necessary steps to administer a potentially life-saving shock. It automatically analyzes the heart rhythm of a victim and detects whether a shock, or defibrillation, is needed. If a shock is advised and administered, the AED will stun the heart momentarily and allow it to reestablish an effective rhythm.

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