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Sudden cardiac arrest is the most common cause of death in the United States, and the cause of 75% of sudden deaths in young athletes.
“We have often found ourselves in situations where multiple teams are playing and practicing and an athletic trainer is not available,” said Assistant Athletic Trainer Paul Gabrielson. “With the new AEDs placed throughout the campus, our student-athletes and coaches will have the resources to help in the case of a cardiac event.”
Access to defibrillators in public locations like airports, casinos and universities has shown survival rates of 41% to 74%, if bystander CPR is provided and defibrillation occurs within three to five minutes of arrest. This success rate is leading universities to implement AEDs at athletic venues in case student-athletes or bystanders experience sudden cardiac arrest during a sporting event. After reviewing a variety studies on AEDs and public-access defibrillation programs, the Cal Poly Athletic Training Staff requested eight AEDs to implement throughout the Cal Poly campus.
After FHMC President and CEO Alan Iftiniuk learned of the need for eight of the devices, he sought support and donors were quick to respond. FHMC, KSBY, San Luis Ambulance, Central Coast Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates, and the physicians at Coastal Cardiology each donated to the cause.
“This was a request immediately worth responding to, as we saw the importance of getting these life-saving devices in place for Cal Poly and our community,” said Iftiniuk. “It’s really special to see the medical and business communities coming together to afford our local student-athletes, coaches, staff, and spectators another high level of cardiac safety.”
Cal Poly’s new AEDs will be located at Mott Athletic Center, Bob Janssen Field, Baggett Stadium, Alex G. Spanos Stadium, the track, tennis courts and upper practice fields.
“Ensuring student-athlete well-being is an underlying principle for Cal Poly Athletics and a key area where we are looking to improve,” Cal Poly Director of Athletics Don Oberhelman said.
Read more about Cal Poly Athletics.
French Hospital Medical Center, located in San Luis Obispo, California, is rated one of the Top 100 Hospitals in the nation and one of the Top 50 Cardiac Hospitals in the nation by Thomson Reuters. The Copeland, Forbes, and Rossi Cardiac Care Center provides the latest innovative cardiac and imaging technology on the Central Coast. The hospital’s current modernization and redesign project is an example of the commitment to meet the growing needs of the community with lifesaving advancements in medicine coupled with excellent, compassionate care. The hospital is home to the unique Hearst Cancer Resource Center offering free education, resources and support to cancer patients and their families. French Hospital is a Dignity Health member of the Central Coast which also includes Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, CA and Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, CA. Dignity Health of the Central Coast is an integrated network of top quality hospitals, physicians from the most prestigious medical schools, and comprehensive outpatient services including primary care offices, premier ambulatory surgery centers, technologically-advanced laboratories and imaging centers and a full service home health agency; all recognized for quality, safety and service. Each hospital is supported by an active philanthropic foundation to help meet the growing health care needs of our communities.
Cal Poly Athletics sponsors 21 intercollegiate sports at the NCAA Division I level – 10 for men and 11 for women. Sixteen of the teams compete in the Big West Conference, of which Cal Poly became a full-fledged member on July 1, 2006. Football competes in the Big Sky Conference, wrestling is a member of the Pac-12 Conference, and men’s and women’s swimming and diving participate in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
Sara San Juan