St. Francis donates life-saving devices

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St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn was part of a safety initiative in Nassau County in which  50 defibrillator units have been donated for  public spaces, Hempstead officials said at a news conference last Thursday.

Through an agreement with the state, St. Francis Hospital and Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre obtained the medical devices free of charge, a town news release said. The units typically cost about $1,500 each, amounting to a total $75,000 donation.

“Having these potentially life-saving devices available at these venues will benefit residents and visitors of all ages in an emergency situation, and having quick access to them is key to surviving a cardiac emergency,” said Louise Spadaro, St. Francis’s director of the cardiac outreach program.

The units will be placed at various public areas throughout the Town of Hempstead, including parks, pools, beaches and senior centers. Staff at the locations will receive training so they can properly use the defibrillators during an emergency situation, the release said.

The devices showed their effectiveness this year, when a Hempstead employee experiencing a cardiac episode was saved by co-workers who performed CPR and used a defibrillator, the release said.

“Defibrillators are often utilized by police, fire and other emergency personnel due to their proven ability to save lives,” Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino said at the news conference. “The Town of Hempstead commends St. Francis Hospital and Mercy Medical Center for partnering with us to provide this lifesaving equipment for town parks, beaches, pools and senior centers.”

More than 350,000 cases of cardiac arrest are reported in the United States yearly, with only 10 percent of the patients surviving, according to the American Heart Association. If a victim of cardiac arrest is given CPR and is treated with a defibrillator, their chances of survival double, according to the association.

by Chris Adams

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