CLINTON, Tenn. (WATE) – The Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge donated an automated external defibrillator or AED to Clinton Middle School Monday morning.
Kathryn Price, Nursing Director for the Anderson County School district, said she reached out to MMC and its president, Jeremy Briggs, because one of the middle school’s AEDs needed replacing.
“We have about 35 AEDs in our school system, which is a good amount. However, the issue we have is, after a while, the AEDs do have an end of life span,” Price said.
AEDs “expire” after about 10 years, Price said.
The life-saving machine isn’t cheap.
One AED could cost about $1,700 to replace, and that doesn’t include the upkeep costs during the 10-year-span.
If the school district had to pay $1,700 to replace every AED in all 18 schools, the district would drop nearly $60,000.
Placing a defibrillator in every school is required by state law, but if it wasn’t, Price said it’s a medical device important to keep children, parents, teachers and staff safe.
“We’ve saved a high school (student) and an elementary school (student)’s life with an AED. So you just never know it could happen,” Price said.
Clinton Middle has two AEDs: One located just outside the front office and the other, just outside the gymnasium.
Biggs said MMC made the donation because as a medical center, they know how important an AED can be.
“Me being a parent, one: You’re at a lot of sporting events, so it could be used for an adult at a sporting event. But, you’ve also seen it used on children….it’s one of those pieces of equipment, when you need it, you need it,” Biggs said.
State law also requires schools hold AED drills, so that students know where the device is and what they must do if one is needed.
A few Clinton Middle students knew that a defibrillator can ‘shock’ someone back to life.
Although a device hasn’t been used in a real-life situation at the school, students know AEDs are important for their safety.
“I think it also makes students safe because we know in case something does like that happen we’ll be okay,” Reese, an 8th grader, said.
Price said that not all 35 defibrillators needed replacing this school year, but she is looking ahead for grants and other donations for future replacements.