Western Kentucky University

Media Relations

More AEDs Being Installed on Campus

AED with pads


WKU Health Services and Housing & Residence Life have partnered to purchase 53 automated external defibrillators (AED) for several campus buildings and residence halls. An AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses certain cardiac arrhythmias and is able to treat them through the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia and allows the heart to reestablish a normal rhythm.

According to the American Heart Association, Emergency Medical Services treatsabout 300,000 victims of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year in the U.S. Less than eight percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive. Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time. Many victims appear healthy with no known heart disease or other risk factors.


While several electrical abnormalities can result in sudden cardiac arrest, the majority begin with ventricular fibrillation. Rapid treatment of ventricular fibrillation, through the application of a controlled electrical shock, is essential to the victim's survival.

The WKU AED Program is being developed to provide the availability of early defibrillation to victims of cardiac emergencies. Dr. Allen Redden, WKU Health Services Staff Physician and The AED Program Medical Advisor, is responsible for the medical direction of WKU's AED program. "We looked at several factors when considering where to place AEDs across campus. The goal is to initiate AED use within five minutes of cardiac arrest."


Redden continues, "New technology has made AEDs simple and user-friendly. Clear audio and visual cues tell users what to do when using an AED and coach people through CPR. A shock is delivered only if the victim needs it. We will be encouraging Building Emergency Safety Team (BEST) members to go through CPR and AED training."

Ann Meade, Vice President of Finance and Administration, says, "AEDs are life saving devices. The mission of WKU Health Services is to provide all members of the WKU campus community with the medical and educational services necessary to regain, maintain, promote and improve their optimal health."

The installation of the AEDs is currently scheduled to be completed by the beginning of the Fall 2011 semester.

Please continue to check our website for updated information regarding the AED Program.

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