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PALM COAST, Fla., August 26, 2019 — The AdventHealth Palm Coast Foundation has donated three automated external defibrillators (AEDs) that will be on-site and available at baseball fields throughout Flagler County and at the softball fields at the Indian Trails Sports Complex.
AEDs are portable devices that check the heart rhythm and treat sudden cardiac arrest. If needed, it can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm.
This gift was inspired by Dr. Joe McKinley, a gastroenterologist at AdventHealth Palm Coast. He volunteers as a baseball coach for his three sons, and through that experience, he learned that none of the area baseball or softball fields have AEDs on site.
“There is a real danger if you don’t have an AED available at ball parks,” McKinley said. “Kids today are so strong that if a ball were to hit a child in the chest, the results could be devastating. In addition, the parents and extended family and friends who observe the games would need an AED if sudden cardiac arrest were to strike while they were in the stands.”
Sudden cardiac arrest is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating and usually causes death if it's not treated within minutes.
“When a sudden cardiac arrest occurs, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs,” said McKinley. “Because time is of the essence – each minute a person is in sudden cardiac arrest leads to a 10% reduction in survival – we wanted to ensure our community had immediate access to an AED at the local ball fields, as it may save lives when minutes count.”
“The Palm Coast Little League runs a fall program of about 450 kids, and a spring program of about 600 kids each year. That's over 1,000 kids, plus 400 volunteers, on the field each year, as well as countless parents, relatives, and friends at the fields throughout the year,” said Peter Schoembs, Palm Coast Little League president. “We all want them to have fun, but we also want them to be safe. Having an AED available at the Indian Trails Sports Complex will put many minds at ease.”
About AdventHealth Palm Coast
AdventHealth Palm Coast has 99-beds and is one of the six hospitals in Flagler, Lake and Volusia counties that composes the AdventHealth Central Florida Division - North Region. Formerly known as Florida Hospital Flagler, the organization’s parent company changed the name of all wholly-owned entities to AdventHealth on Jan. 2, 2019. Based in Altamonte Springs, AdventHealth is a connected system of care. With more than 80,000 team members, AdventHealth is one of the nation’s largest faith-based health care systems with nearly 50 hospitals and hundreds of care sites in nearly a dozen states. With the mission of Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ, AdventHealth Palm Coast provides whole person care to heal the body, mind and spirit. For more information about AdventHealth Palm Coast, visit http://AdventHealthPalmCoast.com.