By Rebeckah Sergi
For The Maine Campus
When people go into cardiac arrest, the paddles of a defibrillator can often save their lives. Once only available in hospitals and aboard ambulances, defibrillators are making their way into public places throughout the United States. The automatic defibrillator is an electronic device that applies an electronic shock to restore a heart’s rhythmic beat. The advent of public automatic defibrillators has been possible due to the new defibrillator manufacturing technology.
“In the past several years manufacturers have produced more technically efficient defibrillators for personnel with limited medical knowledge,” Frank Wolfe of the University Volunteer Ambulance Corps said.
The University of Maine already has one automatic defibrillator in the Memorial Gym. UVAC is in the process of getting more automatic defibrillators in the Maine Center for the Arts, Alfond Arena, Memorial Union and in all Public Safety vehicles on campus.
The university will probably have another defibrillator by the end of the school year Wolfe said. The defibrillators are expensive and funds are being allocated in order to buy more. Wolfe said he hopes the places where the defibrillators are going to be located, such as the MCA, will help to shoulder the cost.
More defibrillators on campus means more opportunities to save someone’s life.
Though the automatic defibrillators are easy to work, they are only allowed to be used by those trained with defibrillators in a CPR course or in an Automatic External Defibrillator class.
UVAC is currently in the process of training athletic coaches on the automatic defibrillators in case of an emergency at a game or a practice. UVAC will be organizing training for CPR and AED classes for anyone interested in learning more about automatic defibrillators and how to use them. For information contact UVAC at 581-4038.