Automated external defibrillator programs at Tennessee Board of Regents higher education institutions

Timothy P Jones, Tennessee State University


This research explored the use of Automated External Defibrillators at Tennessee Board of Regents 2-year and 4-year institutions to combat sudden cardiac arrest, which takes the lives of one thousand Americans each day. Ventricular fibrillation, the most common cause of sudden cardiac death, may be reversible if defibrillation is available within minutes of the event. Electric shock is the only treatment for ventricular fibrillation and has been shown successful in nearly ninety percent of patients in the hospital who have access to defibrillators, but uniformly fatal when these devices are not available. Automatic external defibrillators improve access to early defibrillation and result in improved survival. This study described their deployment or lack thereof in the Tennessee Board of Reagents institutions. A survey was designed to discern which T.B.R. institutions had deployed AED's and the degree of maturity their AED programs had reached based upon the recommendations that they followed when creating it. Sixteen of the nineteen T.B.R. institutions replied, 69% of these have deployed AED's, and 91% have management plans. All these institutions had AED managers as well. No significant differences existed between T.B.R. 2yr and 4yr institutions in terms of; AED per student ratio, AED per campus building ratio, reasons given for not having AED's, percent of campus population over age 50, AED administrators' responsibilities, or between guidelines followed when creating the AED program. However, when comparing the mean number of AED's present on the 4-yr campuses (12.4) to those on the 2-yr institutions (3.0), a statistically significant difference was found (p = 0.017). This study showed that while some T.B.R. campuses have made significant gains in the battle with sudden cardiac death others lag behind. A uniform approach to solving this problem and creating a better safety net for the faculty, staff, and students who are at risk for sudden cardiac arrest would be to centralize the program within the T.B.R. system and appoint a director or administrator who would be responsible for bringing the whole system forward and on-line with a more advanced AED programs. Future investigations may include surveying other state education systems and reviewing differences between public and private institutions policies.

Subject Area

School administration|Surgery

Recommended Citation

Timothy P Jones, "Automated external defibrillator programs at Tennessee Board of Regents higher education institutions" (2005). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3187595.