Holmen Rotary donates five AEDs to businesses, has four more to contribute

HOLMEN, Wis. (WKBT) —  Automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, are used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.

Those tools can be lifesaving, which is why the Holmen Rotary Club is donating nine to village businesses.

The survival rate of sudden cardiac arrest is 5 to 10% in places without good access to medical services, said cardiac arrest survivor Cheri Olson

More access improves survival rates.

“You can get survival up to 40-50%. So that’s a whole lot of people that could be around that wouldn’t be around if we didn’t intervene immediately,” said Olson, a physician who was at work at Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare when she suffered sudden cardiac arrest 14 years ago.

“I had my cardiac arrest in a clinic room, which is the best place to have it because there were nurses and doctors right away,” Olson said.

She survived, largely because of an AED.

“It really changes your perspective on life when you go from being a functional person who doesn’t have any medical problems to someone who has had a cardiac arrest, and without any intervention could’ve died,” Olson said.

The Holmen Rotary Club intends to improve AED access. With help from Winona State University nursing students, the club chose five businesses to which it donated AEDs.

“We looked at different places that would be high risk places—places where you might have crowds, places where people might be older, people might be engaged in physical activity,” said Carrie Travis, the professor involved with the project at Winona State University.

The businesses that received those donations Thursday were Holmen Ace Hardware & Rental, Be Fit Gym, The Holmen Area Community Center, Features Holmen and Drugan’s Castle Mound Golf Course.

The Rotary club has more to give. For Holmen business owners who are interested in being gifted an AED, more information can be found on the Holmen Rotary website.

“AED intervention can save lives. Can and does save lives,” Travis said.

Winona State students also encouraged people to download the PulsePoint AED app, which helps identify where AEDs are located throughout the community.

The Holmen Area Community Center will host AED training classes on April 25 and 26.

Travis says anyone can use an AED.

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