First responders credit AED equipment for saving Norwalk student’s life

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NORWALK, Iowa – Automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, are designed to be used by anyone in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest. Tuesday morning, the patient was a 13-year-old Norwalk student.

First responders credit the school nurse and the AED equipment for saving the young girl’s life.

“Our paramedics showed up on the scene and by that time the nurse had already elicited some help from some students which is really neat, and was able to deliver a shock from the AED and the patient at that point was awake,” Doug Richardson, a paramedic and firefighter with Norwalk Fire Department, said.

Norwalk Schools didn’t give an update on how the student is doing, but the Norwalk Fire Department said things could have been a lot worse if an AED wasn’t on site at the school.

“Almost half a million sudden cardiac arrests occur in the United States every year, 375,000 of those are outside of the hospital,” Richardson said, “so really driving home and reinforcing that the chain of survival and today was a perfect example of it working in the way it’s intended.”

Richardson says AEDs are becoming more common in public areas, but in Iowa there’s no requirement for schools to have them.

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