Wake Forest Baptist Delivers Life-Saving Devices to Middle Schools in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County System

October 10, 2012

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is outfitting 13 middle schools in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools system with portable electronic devices that have the power to save lives. Southeast Middle was the first to receive an automated external defibrillator (AED) and demonstration on how to properly use the device.

When the distribution process is completed, every high school and middle school in the city-county system will have one.

“In addition to placing the AEDs in the 13 schools, Wake Forest Baptist personnel will instruct teachers and other school staff members how to use them,” said Amy Craver, outreach coordinator at Wake Forest Baptist’s Heart Center. “Also, all emergency response agencies in the area will be notified of the device’s location in each school.”

An AED is lightweight battery-powered device that checks heart rhythm. If needed, it can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest, a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating and blood flow to the brain and other vital organs ceases.

“Sudden cardiac arrest usually causes death if it's not treated within minutes. In fact, each minute of arrest leads to a 10 percent reduction in survival,” said Rob Cockrum, clinical manager of the electrophysiology lab in Wake Forest Baptist’s Heart Center. “Using an AED on a person who is having sudden cardiac arrest can greatly increase that person's chances of survival.”

“Having AEDs in all these schools is a positive development for the health and safety of our students,” said Greg Gentry, the school system’s program manager for athletics. “We’re grateful to Wake Forest Baptist for its role in getting this done.”

The 13 middle schools are Clemmons, East Forsyth, Hanes, Lowrance, Hill, Kernersville, Kingswood, Main Street Academy, Meadowlark, Mineral Springs, Northwest, Paisley and Southeast.

The remaining middle schools will receive AEDs in the coming weeks.

The AEDs being placed in the middle schools were acquired by Wake Forest Baptist through a grant from St. Jude Medical Inc.

Media Relations

Mac Ingraham: mingraha@wakehealth.edu, 336-716-3487

Chad Campbell: news@wakehealth.edu, 336-713-4587