Local News

Wake Schools To Get Defibrillators, Training

Posted November 10, 2003 1:36 a.m. EST

— Some

Wake County Schools

will be a little safer thanks to a donation from



All 42 middle and high schools in Wake County will receive an automatic external defibrillator or AED for its campus. The $80,000 gift will be paired with training teams of faculty and students at each school.

"The number one thing that pans out when you look at all the sudden deaths is early defibrillation saves lives. We're talking within the first few minutes," said Dr. Randy Cooper, a WakeMed cardiologist.

Cooper said heart attacks can strike people of all ages.

The devices give a potentially lifesaving shock to a person suffering from cardiac arrest. Once activated, the device audibly walks the user through the procedure.

Three years ago, the state passed a defibrillator bill making the devices more available.

Wake School superintendent Bill McNeal said he remembers a time as a principal years ago when an AED would have made a difference.

"We were dealing with a staff member. Had there been an AED on campus at that time and people trained, I believe we could have saved the life of that individual," he said.

Doctors at WakeMed said they hope the devices will one day be as common as fire extinguishers in buildings.