Defibrillators Save Lives

January 20, 2006--Posted at 6:30 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR--Cardiac arrest can happen at any time but if the patient is treated quickly they have nearly a 90 percent chance of survival. A couple of months ago the Missouri State basketball coach's father suffered a heart attack following a game at the Convocation Center. Luckily the arena had an automated external defibrillator that saved his life.

As Missouri State coach Barry Hinson and ASU coach Dickey Nutt will tell you basketball can be a heart stopping event.

"I think Barry will tell you that his dad is alive because of Cardiology Associates having that defibrillator here at the Convocation Center," said Coach Nutt.

Thanks to a donation by the Cardiology Associates Foundation the Convocation Center was equipped with a life saving defibrillator that jump started coach Hinson's father’s heart.

"Cardiology Associates Foundation goal is to provide these AED's to patients so that we can bring the treatment to the patient rather than the patient to the treatment," said Dr. Jack McKee of the Cardiology Associates Foundation.

The Foundation's focus is to prevent death and disability due to coronary disease and last year they donated 7 of these AED's throughout Northeast Arkansas and expect to award another 7 this year.

The Convocation Center has 4 of these AED devices across the arena while the football complex has one. According to Coach Nutt other facilities across the country have heard about Coach Hinson's father and are trying get AED's at their arenas.

"I know that Barry Hinson said that even at his arena in Springfield, Missouri they didn't have it but he was going to go after it," said Coach Nutt.

The AED's are easy enough to operate that anyone can use them as the machine actually talks you through the process. When you have large facilities like the Convocation Center where a number of people come through having devices like this are crucial.

"It's not a matter of are you going to have people having heart attack, just when's it going to happen, with the number of people that come through here it will happen," said Convocation Center Director Tim Dean.

"Anywhere you have a group of people you need a defibrillator and anyone can use it and again you can't get one if you don't apply," said Cardiology Associates Foundation President Dr. Connie Hill.

The Cardiology Associates Foundation is awarding around 7 of these AED devices here in Northeast Arkansas. If you would like your school, church, or other public facility considered, you can call the foundation at 870-268-4422 for more information.