The Cortana Kiwanis Club donated an automated external defibrillator (AED) to St. Joseph’s Academy. The unit has been installed in the Academy Student Center, the newest addition to SJA’s campus.
AEDs are used to treat cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and pulseless ventricular tachycardia through defibrillation, the application of electricity which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm.
Cortana Kiwanis Club has provided 10 AEDs to schools in the Baton Rouge area, according to
Pam Morgan, District Kiwanis AED coordinator and member of the Cortana Kiwanis Club. “We are very proud to say that at this time, six lives have been saved by the use of AEDs provided by Kiwanis Clubs in our district,” Morgan said.
Morgan, as well as Cortana Kiwanis President Heather Folks-Givens and Kiwanis member Debbie (Manda) Salvant, SJA class of 1971, visited SJA’s campus on August 2 to present the AED to several SJA representatives, including Principal Stacia Andricain, Athletic Director Dorinda Beaumont, Athletic Trainer Mackenzie Bowman Brown and Health & Physical Education Chair Lauren Morris.
“Safety is one of the most important things to consider on any school campus,” Andricain said. “The lives of our students and anyone who visits our campus must be a priority. Additionally, we want our students to have training and be prepared if they are ever in a situation where they could step in and save the life of another.”
A dozen members of SJA’s faculty and staff are trained in the use of AEDs. Brown is one of them. “Whether it is a student participating in class or an athletic event or a fan in the stands, safety is our top concern,” she said. “If someone goes into cardiac arrest, having an AED close gives us a better chance to save a life.”
Morris is also trained in AED use. “Given that sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in young athletes, the AED gives coaches peace of mind,” she said.
Other buildings equipped with AEDs include the Activity Center, St. Joseph Hall and Mother Alice Hall.
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Photo by Erin Albarado