Tanner Heart Care donated a new AED battery and electrode pads to the Central High School Marching Pride band.
Central High School is keeping the heartbeat of its band strong thanks to a donation from Tanner Heart Care.
Tanner recently donated a new battery and a resupply of electrode pads for the band’s automated external defibrillator (AED) — a small, portable device that can save someone’s life during sudden cardiac arrest.
“We are grateful to Tanner for this donation,” said Neil Ruby, Central High School Marching Pride’s director. “It will protect our students, staff and volunteers.”
However, he said, it’s a resource he hopes they’ll never use.
“An AED is an essential piece of equipment when someone goes into cardiac arrest,” said Nicole Lee, RN, a registered nurse at Tanner and parent volunteer for the Marching Pride. “When someone goes into cardiac arrest, we have a matter of minutes.”
Cardiac arrest can occur suddenly and without warning.
Lee said most cardiac arrest cases happen when there is a problem with the heart’s electrical system. The problem can cause the heart to beat irregularly or stop beating altogether, cutting off vital blood flow to the heart and other vital organs, such as the brain and lungs.
When someone is experiencing cardiac arrest, the AED’s pads are applied to detect irregular heartbeats. If necessary, it can deliver a small “shock” — or defibrillation — to get the heart back into natural rhythm.
While some factors can increase a person’s risk for cardiac arrest — such as having coronary heart disease, heart rhythm disorders or congenital heart defects — it can happen to anyone, any time, even if they have no history of heart disease.
“Procedures like cardiopulmonary resuscitation — CPR — are great in some cases to keep blood flowing, but if a person’s heart needs a shock, having an AED immediately available could save their life,” said Doreen McGill, a radiology tech and parent volunteer for the band.
Lee and McGill are two of about 10 Tanner staff members who volunteer their time and nursing expertise at the band’s practices, camps and competitions.
They support more than 150 band members and dozens of parents and volunteers, where they provide care for everything from common bumps and scrapes to heat-related symptoms, asthma issues and more.
“The medical team that we have taking care of our students and staff is amazing,” said Ruby. “Our kids work so hard, and having this team of nurses there to take care of them is so comforting. We appreciate Tanner for its community sponsorship and the support of the parent volunteers and alumni who work at Tanner.”
For more information about Tanner Heart Care, visit TannerHeartCare.org.