aed-allenContinuing the goal of keeping our children safe and healthy, CHRISTUS St. Patrick Foundation’s Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) donated 18 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to Allen Parish middle and high schools’ athletic   programs.

An AED is a portable device that checks heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), and can save an athlete’s life if used in response to a cardiac event occurring on the field or court.

The donation came after Kinder Middle School Coach, Cade LaFargue, broached the idea with the school nurse, Carla Stagg, of purchasing one of the costly lifesaving devices for his sports teams to use when they travel.  Each school in Allen Parish currently has a unit that remains stationary at the school, available to respond to on-campus cardiac events, but none of the Allen Parish schools had units available to travel with their sports teams to games and competitions.

Stagg contacted CHRISTUS St. Patrick Foundation’s CMN representative, Cara Wyland, in the hopes of having just one unit donated. After investigating, Wyland saw that the need was greater than just one school and, instead, CMN funds provided enough devices for all middle and high schools in the parish to have a unit to travel with their teams.

According to the American Heart Association, it is estimated that a victim’s chances of survival are reduced by 7 to 10 percent with every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation. The sooner the defibrillation shock the better because each minute the brain goes without oxygen diminishes the likelihood the victim will return to a “normal life.”  Because time is precious in an SCA emergency, an automated external defibrillator is critical. A typical community without readily accessible defibrillation is challenged to meet the deadline.

“I never dreamed we would be able to get something like this for all the teams.  Many athletes don’t have any symptoms before having SCA.  I knew Cade was right in wanting to have an AED for his traveling teams,” Mrs. Stagg said.

CMN funds are raised through CHRISTUS St. Patrick Foundation through a combination of National Programs and local efforts.   Regardless of how the funds are raised, all Children’s Miracle Network funds are used to create local miracles by funding advanced pediatric equipment and wellness education programs that the children in Southwest Louisiana need for their health and well-being.