Sun, Jan. 19

CPR and an AED make difference in VOC

AEDs have been installed throughout the Sedona Fire District, including the Village of Oak Creek.

AEDs have been installed throughout the Sedona Fire District, including the Village of Oak Creek.

SEDONA - Just before 4 p.m. Tuesday, the Sedona Fire District responded to a fall injury at Kachina Point in the Village of Oak Creek. The initial call reported a fall, but then it was determined that the patient was in cardiac arrest and that CPR was in progress.

"Time is critical when someone's heart has stopped and they are not breathing," says Deputy Fire Marshal Gary Johnson.

While emergency crews were en-route, the dispatcher confirmed with the caller that an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) was available at their location. The AED is a computerized medical device that can check a person's heart rhythm and recognize and advise automatically when a rhythm requires a shock, using voice prompts, lights, and text message.

These actions by the staff and a quick response time by SFD made for a successful outcome.

The patient was an employee who worked in the front office. It was to be her last day on the job before retirement. The staff held a retirement party for her earlier in the day.

The business office manager first noticed the patient slumped at her desk. She stood up, stumbled, and fell. The manager called for assistance from staff and 9-1-1. Employees Shannon Peterson and Carol Greenwood began to perform CPR. Also employees Karen Clement, Tammy Richards, Joanne Reese and Ty Montgomery participated by providing oxygen and operation of the AED.

After CPR, placement of the AED, and one shock, the patient regained a pulse and was having spontaneous respirations. When SFD emergency crews arrived, the patient was given ACLS medications and transported to Verde Valley Medical Center.

Since 2001 AEDs have been installed throughout the SFD, including the Village of Oak Creek in partnership with businesses, sports clubs and organizations.

Sudden cardiac arrest claims about 1,000 lives a day in the United States. For every minute a patient waits for help, their chances for survival drop by 10 percent.

Contact the Sedona Fire District at 282-6800 for more information on this simple life saving procedure.

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