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Published on November 17, 2015

Mercy makes AED donations to area schools, non-profits

Program offers life-saving devices to community

Mercy Medical Center is donating Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to 13 area schools and non-profit organizations this month. Presentation of the AEDs will take place at the following times and locations in Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha and Marion:

Friday, Nov. 20:
St. Wenceslaus Parish Center at 8:30 a.m.
Francis Marion Intermediate School at 9:30 a.m.
Summit Schools at 10:30 a.m.
Franklin Middle School at 11:15 a.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 24:
Van Buren Elementary School at 9:15 a.m.
Truman Elementary School at 9:45 a.m.
Jackson Elementary School at 10:15 a.m.
Waypoint Services for Women, Children, and Families at 11:00 a.m.
Nixon Elementary School at 1:30 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 30:
Hiawatha Elementary School at 10 a.m.
Washington High School at 12:45 p.m.
Wilson Middle School at 1:30 p.m.
Coolidge Elementary School at 2:30 p.m.

The AEDs will be placed in readily accessible locations at the schools and organizations, to be used in case of an emergency.

AEDs are portable devices that check heart rhythm and treat Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). If needed, an AED can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm.

The AED donation program at Mercy is designed to equip local non-profits demonstrating financial need with the life-saving devices. The non-profits must also exhibit a need for AED coverage for their facility and participate in an application process. 

Mercy is partnering with Cedar Rapids company ThinkSafe to make the AEDs available for donation.

"AED devices are a critical component in increasing survival rates among Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) victims," said cardiologist Ryan Hollenbeck, MD, Mercy Cardiology Clinic. "SCA is a leading killer in the United States, claiming more than 300,000 lives annually. Mercy is pleased to be able to present these life-saving devices for the well-being of our community."

According to the American Heart Association, SCA kills more people every year than strokes, AIDS and breast cancer. Hollenbeck says the key to fighting SCA is defibrillation (use of an AED) within a very short period of time from the onset of SCA.

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