Community, Cottage Grove

A LIFE-SAVING ACT: Cottage Theatre receives AED device

COTTAGE GROVE – A person loses 10% of their brain every minute they suffer from cardiac arrest if there is no CPR administered.

This staggering statistic is why a PeaceHealth nurse said she was passionate about ensuring there is adequate community preparedness and awareness about what to do when someone is suffering from cardiac arrest.

“Firefighters, we know what to do, but we are not always there,” Eugene Springfield Fire (ESF) chief JoAnna Kamppi said.

HEARTsafe Eugene Springfield, a nonprofit which is a partner organization of ESF and PeaceHealth, won a $5,000 grant from the PulsePoint Foundation to purchase automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for the community after winning PulsePoint’s AED contest last October.

The contest encouraged any community using PulsePoint, which is a mobile app that acts as a fire and emergency medical services scanner, to locate and register AEDs. According to PulsePoint, HEARTsafe Eugene Springfield didn’t just win the contest; the nonprofit registered a record number of AEDs, coming in at a total of 406.

“We didn’t even know that HEARTsafe was a thing 12 years ago, but when we started to look at our cardiac arrest survival rates, we were right at the national average – 9-11% for survival – and we really wanted to make a change,” Kamppi said. “Everybody got together to try to figure out what to do to help with the cardiac arrest survival problem in our community, and because of those efforts, we have raised our cardiac arrest survival rate up to close to almost 60%.”

The automated external defibrillator (AED) will be mounted near the concessions stand at Cottage Theatre.

With the $5,000, HEARTsafe Eugene Springfield purchased five AEDs. One of these was donated to Cottage Theatre on March 11, and it will soon be hung up in the lobby either behind or near the concessions stand for easy visibility and accessibility. This AED has a lock and an alarm, so Cottage Theatre staff will need to open the box off the wall and retrieve the AED inside in emergency situations.

“We have several nurses among our volunteers who’ve been encouraging us to get one of these for some time, so I’m very pleased to accept this on behalf of the theater,” said Mark Allen, president of the Cottage Theatre board of directors.

Cottage Theatre was chosen as the recipient of the AED because many people attend shows there, which brings traffic to that building.

This donation to the Cottage Theatre was the catalyst for HEARTsafe to enter the Cottage Grove community through the launch of HEARTsafe South Lane County. The organization’s goal is to increase the success rate of out-of-hospital, sudden cardiac arrest in South Lane. To do this, HEARTsafe South Lane County hopes to inform the public on what to do if someone becomes unresponsive – and to educate community members to start CPR immediately if they recognize someone is performing agonal breathing.

The term agonal breathing may encourage someone to conclude that the individual suffering cardiac arrest is in fact breathing, but agonal breathing is when someone is gasping for air because they are not getting enough oxygen.

“(Community members) don’t have to feel like they don’t know what to do. The AED is really amazing in that it walks the community through the steps and what they need to do. Know that even if you’re feeling uncertain, just take a chance,” said Sarah Coleman, chief of staff at PeaceHealth Cottage Grove Community Medical Center. “Electricity is the main thing we’ve found that really does its job in bringing people back, so we want to empower the community to feel like they can do this. That’s the most important takeaway. They can do this.”



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