June 5, 2009 --
According to the American Heart Association, approximately 890 deaths from coronary heart disease occur outside of the hospital or emergency room every day. Most of these deaths are due to the sudden loss of heart function or sudden cardiac death.
A number of these victims, up to 60 percent, might have been saved if automated external defibrillators (AEDs) were immediately available. Chances of survival from sudden cardiac death diminish by 7 - 10 percent for each minute without immediate CPR or defibrillation.
And now parents and league officials are worried about their athletes.
Andrea Fenimore, a Brookland Little League board member, says the players face dangers out on the field.
"They could get hit in the chest and it make their heart stop. We've seen it happen. We know that the AED could save their life especially because we are out of Jonesboro, and it may take longer to get to us."
Fenimore is also a Nurse's Assistant at Cardiology Associates. She along with the other board members approaced the Cardiology Associates Foundation about helpin them get an AED.
"We have a great AED placement program. No matter what your organization is, you need an AED on hand. You never know what's going to happen."
Darlene Shipman with Cardiology Associates says when you get an AED, you must first go through training before you can use it.
"It's a step by step instructional machine, but you still have to be trained to use it. It's usually a group of about 10-15 people who are trained that way at least one person will be at the event."
But AED's aren't cheap, costing anywhere from $2,500 to $4,500. So the Brookland Little League is hosting a Fundraising Tournament this weekend (June 6 & 7). The games start at 9 a.m. Saturday and run till 9 p.m. that night. They start back up again Sunday at noon and last until 6 pm that evening. Concession stands will be open.
"We hope to purchase an AED and then donate the rest of the money to Cardiology Associates Foundation to help other organizations get one."