(1/13/12) It is one piece of equipment that officials at Tomah Memorial Hospital hope never has to be used.
But thanks to a generous donation by the Tomah Memorial Foundation, the hospital now has an automated external defibrillator … better known as an A-E-D located on the lower level of the hospital in case of an unexpected emergency.
An A-E-D is a lightweight, portable device that delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart. The shock can stop an irregular heart rhythm and allow a normal rhythm to resume in a heart in sudden cardiac arrest, which if not treated within minutes, quickly leads to death.
Once the pads are in place, the A-E-D automatically measures the person's heart rhythm and determines if a shock is needed. If it is, the machine instructs the user to push a button to deliver the shock. It will also guide users through cardio pulmonary resuscitation. The process can be repeated as needed until emergency crews take over.
Steele said the mission of the foundation is to support community-based wellness, facility upgrades and development of programs that benefit Tomah Memorial and the communities served by the hospital.