Continuing its mission of advancing local health care through philanthropy, the Barton Health Foundation has donated 32 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to aid in the response to heart issues at Barton Health facilities, both in and out of Barton Memorial Hospital. According to the American Heart Association, there are more than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests annually in the U.S., and 9 out of 10 cardiac arrest victims who receive a shock from an AED within the first minute live.

“Barton Health locations, such as Barton Memorial Hospital, Barton Community Health Center, ski clinics, and our many outpatient offices, are frequently occupied by patients, visitors, family members, and staff members, any of whom could experience a cardiac arrest event at any time,” said Dr. Matthew Wonnacott, Chief Medical Officer at Barton Health. “Having AEDs in these places of high traffic positions victims minutes closer to getting help in the event of a heart emergency — and when dealing with heart issues, every second counts.”

The highly-visible, bright green Zoll AED units will be installed throughout Barton Health California and Stateline campuses, and at outpatient offices in Carson City, Incline Village, Zephyr Cove, and South Lake Tahoe, as well as at the Sierra and Kirkwood Ski Clinics.

Strategically placed AEDs help ensure a rapid response to cardiac arrest. An AED is a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use, medical device that can analyze the heart’s rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm. Immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use of an AED can double, or even triple, survival rates.

“An AED does not require a medical professional, making it an accessible, important tool for patients, visitors, and staff to have on hand in the event of an emergency,” said Chris Kiser, Executive Director of the Barton Health Foundation. “We are grateful to many generous donors who have contributed to this cause, empowering us to make an important impact during February — American Heart Month.”

In addition to the AEDs, Barton Health Foundation made the following charitable donations to aid in the advancement of health care for the Lake Tahoe community: 5,000 blood pressure monitors for patients with hypertension, rolling carts to provide efficiencies for nurses in Infusion/Oncology; wall-mounted toys, tables, and chairs for pediatric patient comfort in the Emergency Department; a bladder scanner to provide non-invasive, fast, and painless readings for Home Health & Hospice patients; and a state-of-the-art gait analysis treadmill for the Center for Orthopedics & Wellness to assist patients recovering from injury as well as those who wish to improve their running and walking performance. All grants totaled nearly $100k for the first quarter of 2023.

Sponsored by the Barton Health Foundation, the goal of the Heart Safe Community program is to increase the availability of AEDs in public locations throughout the community.