Mercy Medical Center is donating Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to 10 area churches, schools and community organizations in the coming weeks, bringing the number of AEDs the hospital has donated to 61 since the program began in 2014.
AEDs are portable devices that check heart rhythm and treat Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). When needed, an AED can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. The AEDs will be placed in readily accessible locations at each site to be used in case of an emergency.
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 ThinkSafe, based in Cedar Rapids, to make the AEDs available for donation.
According to the American Heart Association, SCA kills more people every year than strokes, AIDS and breast cancer. A key to fighting SCA is defibrillation (use of an AED) within a very short period of time from the onset of SCA.