The Baylor/Waco Foundation is helping to make campus a safer place to study, work and visit with a $52,500 grant that will allow 15 automatic external defibrillators (AEDs), at $3,500 each, to be installed in 10 buildings around the University. Designed for use by laypeople, the defibrillators are easy to use and require only minimal training.
AEDs are FDA-approved devices used to "restart" the heart when cardiac arrest occurs. Fifteen percent of all workplace fatalities reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are related to cardiac arrest; however, according to the American Journal of Medicine, those who are treated with an AED within the first three to five minutes of cardiac arrest have a 74 percent chance of survival.
The proposal for the AEDs originated from the student-led Medical Services Organization headed by Baylor senior Brad Scoggins. "We were looking for ways to benefit the Baylor community in a health services area," he said. He presented the idea to Mark Schwartze, MD, director of Baylor's Health Center, and Rosemary Townsend, director of community partnerships, who then brought it before the Baylor/Waco Foundation as a grant request in September 2002.
"I think the Baylor/Waco Foundation board members thought that the installation of AEDs would impact not only Baylor but people throughout Central Texas; so many people come to campus for events," said Cathy Pleitz, executive director of the Baylor/Waco Foundation.
"AEDs are a wonderful, preventative, life-saving device designed for use by laypeople," Townsend said. The Baylor group, including Scoggins, Dr. Schwartze, Townsend and other members of the Baylor staff, have supervised the installation of the AEDs, will hold classes to train people to use the machines and will conduct a public awareness campaign. "Without training, the machines are still effective, but not as effective," Scoggins said. "Our goal is to have an AED in every building on campus."