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Riders in 2007 Providence Bridge Pedal Help Save LivesSalem-News.com
Funds from the event will buy machines designed to help people assist someone having a heart attack.
(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Thousands of hearts pumped hard last summer as cyclists pedaled the 12th annual Providence Bridge Pedal. Now, other hearts will benefit from the riders’ efforts.
Providence Heart and Vascular Institute is using proceeds from the massive bike event to purchase and donate automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to community groups and public locations in the greater Portland area.
An AED is a small piece of equipment about the size of a laptop computer. The machine is designed to help people assist someone having a heart attack. Using voice prompts to guide the operator, the AED analyzes a patient’s heart rhythm for abnormalities.
If necessary the AED tells the rescuer to give the patient an electrical shock, which may help the heart restore an effective rhythm.
We are honored to give back to the community by providing this equipment that will save lives," says Kristy Wayson, Providence Heart and Vascular Institute administrator. "We know more than 200,000 Americans die every year of sudden cardiac arrest. Nearly 50,000 of these victims could be saved if there was easier access to AEDs."
The first recipient of a Providence Heart and Vascular donated AED is the Cooper Spur Volunteer Ski Patrol. Located on the east side of Mt. Hood, Cooper Spur draws nearly 500 skiers on a typical weekend.
If someone suffers a heart attack at the ski area, the closest ambulance is 25 minutes. Having an AED located at the lodge will mean the difference between life and death.
"This gives us peace of mind, knowing that we don’t have to wait to help someone," explains Cooper Spur Volunteer Ski Patrol member Jason Wilkins.
"It’s a huge relief to all of the members of the ski patrol."
Wilkins, a paramedic and firefighter in Hood River, says all patrol volunteers will go through a refresher course on the AED at the beginning of each ski season.
"The mountain is small enough that if a skier has a heart attack anywhere on the mountain, we can have the equipment to them within five minutes," says Wilkins.
Additional AEDs will be purchased and donated over the next few months. Newberg School District and Ascension Church in southeast Portland are among the future AED recipients.
Source: Press release
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