PSMC presents automatic external defibrillators to Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office

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SUN photo/Randi Pierce
Staff of Pagosa Springs Medical Center (PSMC) and Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) pose with an automatic external defibrillator, or AED. PSMC donated five AEDs to the ACSO to be housed in patrol vehicles. 

Pagosa Springs Medical Center staff

On behalf of Pagosa Springs Medical Center, (PSMC) Dr. Rhonda Webb, PSMC CEO, presented five automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) to the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) for the benefit of the community. 

The AEDs are a portable medical device used in the case of cardiac arrest to analyze heart rhythm and deliver a shock to restore the heart rhythm to normal. The units will be housed in five ACSO vehicles. 

The ACSO responds within an 1,800-square-mile area that includes Archuleta County as well as parts of Mineral and Hinsdale counties. Deputies are most often the first on scene to major medical and trauma emergencies, including cardiac arrest calls where defibrillation and early CPR may be the difference between surviving or not. All sheriff’s deputies are trained by PSMC’s Emergency Medical Services staff. 

According to the American Heart Association’s most recent data, in the United States there are 356,461 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests annually. In 2021, within the ACSO’s response area there were 54 calls for service for cardiac arrest patients. Without early CPR and access to early defibrillation, survivability is less than 10 percent across the board for adult patients. The survival rate triples when there is access to early defibrillation.