Defibrillator, coaches save man at Ga. high school

By Alexis Stevens
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Just this week, staff at Lassiter High School moved one of the school's two defibrillators to the athletic field house to make it more accessible. Just in case.

Early Thursday morning, it was put to the test — and passed.

Quick-acting football coaches and a campus officer saved a man who collapsed during a walk on the Cobb County school's track.

"You don't really think about it, you just react," head coach Chip Lindsey said.

Lindsey was in his office around 6:30 a.m. when others on the track got the attention of assistant coach David Arvin. Arvin ran out, and Lindsey and Jim Brown followed.

The coaches started CPR, and deputy Richard Edwards grabbed the automated external defibrillator. The stricken man, who has not been identified, was shocked with the AED as emergency responders arrived, following a 6:49 a.m. call to 911.

"When we arrived, he did not have a pulse," said Denell Boyd with the Cobb County Fire Department. The man was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital after his pulse was detected.

The Cobb school district has the potentially life-saving devices at every school, according to Alison Ellison with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Gwinnett, Douglas, Fayette and Paulding also have the devices in all schools, and Fulton, DeKalb and Cherokee high schools and middle schools have them. Atlanta schools have AEDs and are beginning training to use them, Ellison said.

Thursday's incident is the third this month at Georgia schools, Ellison said. Since December 2007, 15 people — including seven students — have been saved by AEDs.

"If there hadn't been an AED in place and someone trained to use it, the man may not have survived," Lassiter school nurse Audrey Dinoff said.

Copyright 2009 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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