ETMC EMS donates defibrillators to Camp Tyler

TYLER, TX - Camp Tyler is receiving two automated external defibrillators (AEDs) thanks to a donation from East Texas Medical Center EMS.

Since 2004, EMS has donated AEDs to over 120 fire departments in East Texas and helped several businesses purchase the units at cost. EMS also donated units to the Smith County Courthouse, Smith County Jail, City of Tyler and Cotton Belt Building. "

"Sudden cardiac arrest claims the lives of 220,000 people each year in the U.S. alone.  With proper treatment, early defibrillation, thousands more of these people could survive," said Tony Myers, vice president/COO, ETMC EMS. "Our goal is to build a cardiac safety net for East Texas with our Heart Safe AED Network."

An automated external defibrillator (AED) enables ordinary citizens to provide treatment to victims of sudden cardiac arrest.  AEDs are small, portable devices that use computer-driven diagnostics to analyze heart rhythm and deliver a defibrillation shock if needed.

While AEDs are safe and easy to operate, they must be used immediately to be effective. Survival rates are highest when defibrillation occurs within three minutes following collapse. Unfortunately, over 90 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims die simply because they don't have timely access to this lifesaving procedure.

Each year in Smith County, over 150 people will suffer sudden cardiac arrest. "With every passing minute before defibrillation is administered, survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest decrease by about seven to 10 percent," explained ETMC EMS Medical Director Dr. William Moore.  "Although not everyone can be saved from sudden cardiac arrest, increased access to early defibrillation can help save thousands of lives a year."