BY MICHAELA GIBSON MORRIS
Baptist Memorial Hospitals in New Albany, Booneville and Oxford have helped place AEDs alongside the ABCs.
The hospitals this week donated automated external defibrillators to schools in Union, Prentiss and Lafayette counties. The defibrillators, which are about the size of a laptop, can shock a heart back into rhythm during sudden cardiac arrest.
“We annually try to evaluate ways the hospital can help the community,” said James Huffman, administrator of Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County.
In past years, the hospital has given the lifesaving devices to Union County law enforcement officers. This year, the hospital wanted to get them out to schools, he said. Each unit costs about $1,500.
In Union County, 11 AEDs will be dispersed to New Albany and Union County schools, as well as the Northeast Mississippi Community College campus in New Albany.
“We wanted to work toward having them in every school in the county,” Huffman said. “It's not just for the children. There's a lot of visitors, and high school sporting events.”
It's more likely the automated defibrillators will be called into service to help a teacher, a visiting parent or grandparent rather than a student. But sudden cardiac arrest can happen to children, too, although it is significantly less common.
In Prentiss County, 11 AEDs will go to Booneville, Baldwyn and Prentiss County schools.
In Lafayette County, two will go to Oxford city schools, two will go to Lafayette County schools, one will go to Regents and one to Oxford University School.