Moss Point schools buy heart defibrillators

Published 7:51 pm Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Moss Point School District recently bought two defibrillator machines to be used in cardiac emergencies.

The automated external defibrillators are being kept at the junior high and high school.

District nurse Evelyn Stephens said the defibrillators could help save lives.

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“I have been searching for grant money and lobbying the school board for several years to purchase these defibrillators,” Stephens said. “It is becoming more and more of a norm to have AEDs in public places like airports, bus terminals and even in schools.”

Stephens said the goal is to have one device in each school. The machines were purchased with $5,000 in grant money, and she is seeking funds to buy more.

Each device is portable and can be taken anywhere on the school grounds. A large percentage of district employees, including bus drivers, are certified to use them.

“The AEDs are designed so that someone with no medical background could use them in an emergency situation,” Stephens said. “There is an increasing obligation to safeguard children, and this device really increases the odds of saving those in need. Survival rates increase up to 80 percent when a defibrillator is used.”