Follow-up on Automated External Defibrillators in Indian River County Schools



AED’s are simple-to-use systems for lay people that are built with the computer technology to analyze the heart rhythm and determine if a shock is required. AED’s are similar to pacemakers and automatically deliver shocks to get the heart beating.

In our article we indicated there are 22 middle and high schools in Indian River County with AED’s and the County’s School Board only allows three people at each school to be trained how to use them.

And that perhaps even more alarming is that 19 of the schools have AED’s manufactured by Cardiac Science, which is filing for bankruptcy. Vero Beach High School has seven manufactured by Cardiac Science.

And even if a school has an AED not manufactured by a company going bankrupt, they need to be maintained. Is anyone checking their batteries and whether or not the pads used to administer the shocks have not expired?

After publishing this article we spoke with Flynn Fidgeon, Public Information Officer for Indian River Schools, to follow-up on our report.

Mr. Fidgeon was kind enough to research the matter and quickly responded with this information.

Yes, indeed, there is a nurse coordinator at each school with the responsibility of checking the AED’s once a month to make sure their  batteries are charged and the pads have not expired.

Additionally, three District staff members check on the AED’s an extra one to three times a month.  They have to check on them at least once per month.

In terms of the AED’s manufactured by Cardiac Science, which is filing for bankruptcy, Mr. Fidgeon read a press release issued by Cardiac Science General Manager Al Ford, released on October 20, 2015.

“Cardiac Science continues to take important steps to strengthen its company and has begun reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

This current process is simply a reorganization that leverages the tool afforded through the U.S. Government.  It allows us time to streamline operations and restructure our financing and will strengthen our long term viability.

Service to existing and new customers will not be interrupted during this short restructuring process.”

Mr. Fidgeon also questioned the accuracy of only three people being trained in operating AED’s from each school.  He believes it is seven.

But in any event, the AED’s are so automated by telling you what to do that any lay person would be able to administer them.

Thank you Mr. Fidgeon for your follow-up.


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