AED Scavenger Hunt Update: 50 AEDs Located in Muskegon County with More to be Found!

AED Scavenger Hunt Update: 50 AEDs Located with More to be Found!

Mr. Henry Graves (center) with two of the ProMed first responders who came to his rescue after his sudden cardiac arrest in June 2017 at Family Fitness in Muskegon
Mr. Henry Graves (center) with two of the ProMed first responders who came to his rescue after his sudden cardiac arrest in June 2017 at Family Fitness in Muskegon

Last month we published an announcement of the first-of-its-kind AED Scavenger Hunt, which is being spearheaded by Dr. Amada Paden, a fourth-year resident of Mercy Health Muskegon; Dr. Jerry Evans, Medical Director for Emergency Medicine at Mercy Health Muskegon; and Chad Lawton, Medical Control Authority Coordinator for the West Michigan Regional Medical Consortium.

This group is on a mission to save lives by locating all AEDs in Muskegon County and promoting bystander CPR training, which—when used together on someone who is suffering a cardiac arrest—can dramatically improve a person’s rate of survival. To date, 50 AEDs have been located throughout Muskegon County, but there are many more to be found—and we need your help to increase patients’ survival rates from cardiac episodes.

For Mercy Health Muskegon patient Henry Graves, who experienced a sudden cardiac arrest in June while working out at a fitness facility, the use of an AED and CPR while he was awaiting medic intervention saved his life. Four bystanders, including the gym’s manager, immediately jumped into action by calling 911, starting chest compressions and using an AED the gym had hanging on the wall near the front entrance.

The bystanders administered one defibrillation prior to the arrival of first responders from Norton Shores Fire Department, who took over and provided two additional defibrillations. By the time the paramedics arrived in the ambulance (shortly behind first responders) Henry had already regained spontaneous circulation. He was talking by the time he arrived at the ER on the Mercy Health Mercy Campus.

After Mr. Graves was admitted, he underwent a cardiac catheterization procedure. Luckily, no blockages were found, so he received an AICD (Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator) and was discharged home with no deficits.

Henry’s story is a prime example of the importance of bystander recognition of cardiac arrest, early activation of the emergency response system (calling 911), early CPR and rapid defibrillation. The bystanders made the difference with their knowledge of CPR and use of a publicly available AED.

Muskegon County experiences about 200 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year. In 2016, the survival rate in Muskegon County was 10.2 percent out of 177 cases. Every year in the United States, there are about 350,000 sudden cardiac arrests, with a survival rate of about 12 percent in 2016.

Unfortunately, most people do not survive these events. However, more communities have dedicated themselves to improving these odds through targeted improvement initiatives, demonstrating that survival is possible if the right elements are in place.

When someone’s heart stops, his or her chance of survival has been demonstrated to decrease by about 7–10 percent for every minute without CPR and/or defibrillation. This presents a problem in most communities, since the average response time for EMS is typically 8–10 minutes. If a victim must wait 10 minutes for EMS to arrive, that person’s chances of survival, statistically, have dropped to about 0-30 percent.

Therefore, some communities have developed campaigns aimed at raising awareness of sudden cardiac arrest, providing CPR training for its citizens, working with their dispatch centers to ensure dispatchers can recognize the signs of cardiac arrest from a caller’s description and provide CPR instructions over the phone when needed, and place and track AEDs throughout the community.

In Henry Graves’ case, the system performed just as it was intended. The AED Scavenger Hunt Committee believes that Mr. Graves’ case is a great example to show the community and our health care colleagues that we can beat sudden cardiac arrest. His case highlights the importance of the “chain of survival,” which includes:

1)     Recognition and activation of the emergency response system by calling 911

2)     Immediate high-quality CPR

3)     Rapid defibrillation with an AED

4)     Basic and advanced emergency medical services (EMS)

5)     Advanced life support and post-arrest care

Please continue to register AEDs you locate throughout our community now through the end of the month. Prizes range from $50 to $300. When you locate an AED, report your Team Name along with a brief description of it, including the address, the AED location within the building, and whether the device appears to be ready for use by general public (e.g., is the AED accessible?) on the contest Facebook page (WMRMC) or by email to Photos of the AED are encouraged, but not required.

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