HICKORY, NC – May 14, 2014 – Catawba Valley Medical Center
(CVMC) has recognized the need for on-site emergency care at area middle
schools, and has provided automated external defibrillators (AED) as a
result. An AED is a transportable, battery-powered tool used to immediately
diagnose and treat people with heart failure. River Bend and Arndt Middle
Schools recently received the life-saving devices from CVMC, for use when
the schools are in operation and at athletic events.
Pictured (L-R): Rachel Knighton, River Bend School Nurse, Marcus Osborne
LAT, ATC, CVMC’s Director of Sports Medicine, Alicia Ferguson, River
Bend Associate Principal, Carl Becker, RT(R), (CV), Director, Angiography
Services at CVMC, Mike Laughter, River Bend Athletic Director, and in
front, River Bend student athletes, Payton Goble and Dylan Roberts.
“Immediate care is imperative when someone is having a cardiac issue,
most notably sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). These events happen to people
of all ages when we least expect them, and being prepared is the only
safety mechanism middle schools have to care for students in need,”
said Carl Becker, RT(R), (CV), Director, Angiography Services at CVMC.
“Having the ability to offer these devices to area middle schools
puts CVMC in a great position to save even more lives in Catawba County.
Working with Marcus Osborne, LAT, ATC, CVMC’s Director of Sports
Medicine, we have been able to identify those schools most in need throughout
The American Heart Association reports 295,000 cases of SCA happen each
year. SCA is identified as an unexpected stoppage of the heart, and requires
immediate attention from an AED for survival to be possible. Established
partnerships between CVMC and area school systems brought the need for
AEDs to the forefront. Catawba County high schools have already been outfitted
with AEDs, but the need in area middle schools still exists. CVMC gifted
AEDs to Newton-Conover and Maiden Middle Schools in 2013 and provides
training for school staff.
“The time is now to provide schools with these devices,” said
Becker. “Throughout my 25-year career working in cardiology, I have
noticed that AEDs are not always a luxury schools have available. Taking
care of children needs to be a priority, and donating these AEDs should
increase the likelihood that a child would survive a heart related failure,
including SCA, in Catawba County.”