All 48 of Eugene Police Department’s shared use 24/7 patrol vehicles have just been equipped with automated external defibrillators (AEDs).
Eugene Police Foundation and PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center Foundation partnered to purchase 48 Zoll AED Plus units, which are compatible with Eugene Springfield Fire’s advanced life support devices
Eugene Police officers are not medics, but they often arrive to emergency calls where someone is in medical distress or dying.
“Now our officers have a life-saving tool on hand when they are first on scene and someone is experiencing sudden cardiac arrest,” said Captain Doug Mozan. “Quick response with CPR and an AED can mean the difference between life or death, between health or permanent disability.”
Each year over 350,000 cardiac arrests occur in communities across the United States, with typical survival rates of less than 10 percent.
“Time is critical,” said Dr. Rick Padgett, cardiologist and executive director of the Oregon Heart & Vascular Institute at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend. “Sudden cardiac arrest interrupts the heart’s electrical rhythm preventing the heart from pumping oxygenated blood to the rest of the body. For each minute that goes by without CPR and a shock from a defibrillator, chances of survival drop by 10 percent. Placing AEDs in the hands of officers who are first on the scene can dramatically improve outcomes for these patients. Early defibrillation can save heart muscle and prevent brain damage.”
The addition of AEDs in patrol vehicles brings Eugene one step closer to achieving the “HEARTSafe Community” designation. “Becoming a HEARTSafe Community takes a community. It isn’t one agency that makes it successful, it is everyone in the community working together to do their part,” said Eugene Springfield Fire EMS Chief JoAnna Kamppi.
Ways to support this initiative include learning CPR and downloading the Pulsepoint App, which crowd sources CPR when needed in public places.