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Hospital donates heart device to O’Fallon church

HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital recently donated an automated external defibrillator  to Enjoy Church in O’Fallon.

An AED is a portable defibrillator designed to be automated so that it can be used by those without substantial medical training who are responding to a cardiac emergency. The defibrillator delivers a brief electroshock to the heart through electrodes (pads) placed on the chest. With the AED, it can check a person’s heart rhythm through the pads, recognize a rhythm that requires a shock, and advise the rescuer when a shock is needed, using clear and concise voice prompts on placing the pads and when to step away before the shock is delivered.

“St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and Enjoy Church have cultivated a close ‘neighborly’ relationship since the day we planned our new facility,” said Donna Meyers, director mission integration, spiritual care and community benefit “On a regular basis, Enjoy Church is the location for all of our new colleague orientation sessions and serves as the site for numerous other events, including the Saint Louis University Family Practice Graduation Ceremony.”

To thank Enjoy Church for their ongoing generosity and to assist them in emergency preparedness, St. Elizabeth’s Community Benefit Department purchased and donated the AED machine to the facility.

“We are proud to provide this life-saving device to further the health and safety of the entire congregation,” Meyers added. Additional training to church staff will be forthcoming.

Cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the U.S. According to the American Heart Association, each year, emergency medical services (EMS) treat about 360,000 victims of cardiac arrest before they reach the hospital, Less than 10 percent of those victims survive. Using an AED is an effective treatment for restoring a regular heart rhythm during sudden cardiac arrest and is an easy to operate tool for someone with no medical background. And with cardiac arrest, time is of the essence. The American Heart Association estimates that a victim’s chance of survival decreases by 7 to 10 percent for every minute that passes without defibrillation.

“As an accredited Chest Pain Center, we understand the importance of rapid treatment for patients with chest pain and other heart attack symptoms, and St. Elizabeth’s ministry extends outside our walls to ensure that we are providing the best possible heart care where it is needed,” St. Elizabeth’s President and Chief Executive Officer Patti Fischer said. “We always hope that they won’t ever be needed, but if we can help provide the equipment so area citizens can help save a life, then it is definitely worth it.”

For more information about HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, visit the hospital’s web site at HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is part of the Southern Illinois Division of Hospital Sisters Health System, which also includes HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese, HSHS Holy Family Hospital in Greenville and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland.

PHOTO: HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital donated an automatic external defibrillator (AED) to ENJOY Church in December. Pictured, from left to right, Kevin Scheibe, St. Elizabeth’s EMS, emergency management and security coordinator, Jason Snow, St. Elizabeth’s director of Human Resources, ENJOY Church Senior Pastor Daren Carstens, Patti Fischer, St. Elizabeth’s president and CEO, and Donna Meyers, director of Mission Integration, Spiritual Care and Community Benefit.

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