Looking around the Iredell Senior Center after arriving as its new manager in February, Dan Swan realized the facility lacked any type of equipment to treat seniors during a cardiac event. With a desire to acquire an automated external defibrillator (AED) or similar type of equipment, Swan began reaching out to local organizations for help.
During his conversations with others, Swan spoke with Bill Brater, the president of Nicholson Funeral Home in Statesville. Brater emailed John Green, Iredell Health System’s president & CEO, stating that Swan was looking for an AED and asking how he could get one.
“That’s really how the ball got rolling,” Swan said.
Green emailed Swan telling him that Iredell Health System would be happy to donate an AED to the Senior Center through its volunteer auxiliary.
“Volunteers continually look for opportunities to provide new equipment and improve the processes that will impact patient care in Iredell County,” said Brian Sutton, president of the Iredell Health System Volunteers.
“I’m excited to have this here and be able to use it,” Swan said. “I appreciate Iredell Memorial Hospital for donating the AED through its volunteer group.”
Lisa Tate, a nurse from Iredell Health System’s Cardiopulmonary Rehab department, led a training with Swan, a Senior Center employee Anna Rice, and two seniors in which she gave instructions on using the AED for a person suffering from a cardiac event. Participants practiced using an AED training device, placing pads on a mannequin and following the AED’s verbal instructions.
“Everyone seemed nervous at the beginning of the training but were confident by the end that they could use the AED to help a person in a cardiac event,” Swan said.
The Iredell Senior Center promotes the social, physical, and economic wellbeing of people 60 years of age and older. It provides them with special programs, events, activities, exercise, information, assistance, and volunteer opportunities.
About 70-100 people visit the Senior Center each day. With the prevalence of cardiac disease and other cardiac events high among seniors, Senior Center employees feel more assured now that they are equipped with an AED, which helps those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest by analyzing their heart and helping it regain an effective rhythm.
Pictured, left to right: Dan Swan, Iredell Senior Center Manager; Lisa Tate, RN; Brian Sutton, Iredell Memorial Volunteer President; Anna Rice, Executive Director of Iredell County Council on Aging ; and Jed Pidcock, Iredell Health System Volunteer Coordinator.