External defibrillator can increase the chances of survival

An automated external defibrillator (AED) was given this week to the Marietta Recreational Soccer League, donated by Camden Clark Medical Center.

It made us wonder how many of our others sports teams and leagues have this piece of equipment. Some may, but we bet many don’t.

The typical price range is $1,200 to $2,500, no small amount when many athletes or leagues are struggling with uniform, transportation and other costs.

For those organizations who don’t have an AED, we urge you to consider purchasing one, or seeking out an organization that may be willing to donate the piece of equipment.

It can save lives.

Those who suffer sudden cardiac death have a failure of proper heart function, usually during or immediately after exercise without trauma. This can happen to athletes young and old, at a practice or a game.

Since the heart stops pumping adequately, the athlete quickly collapses, loses consciousness and ultimately dies unless normal heart rhythm is restored using an automated external defibrillator (AED), the American Heart Association reports.

It can happen to youth who have shown no signs of a problem, and it has happened locally.

Marissa Elise Miller, 12, of Vienna, W.Va., died unexpectedly on Sept. 5 while at soccer practice. It was a death that shocked the community and her classmates.

Having an AED on hand doesn’t mean every life can be saved, but it certainly improves the odds in many situations.

There are a lot of individuals and organizations that support our local athletic teams. They should take up the charge on this issue and try to ensure that AEDs are available for all our student athletes.