CSU Long Beach -- August 20, 2003
CSULB Staff Members To Receive Governor's Safety Award For Work On Automated
External Defibrillator Program
A pair of staff members in Student Health Services at California State
University, Long Beach have been selected to receive the Governor’s
Employee Safety Award for their efforts in developing and implementing
an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) program on the campus. Since
the program was begun, five lives have been saved.
Clinical Coordinator Lawrence Harvey and Physician Christian Jagusch
will be honored at a special ceremony in Sacramento on Friday, Aug.
22, for their workplace safety efforts, which included the training
of more than 80 university employees in the proper usage of AEDs.
“The efforts of Christian Jagusch and Lawrence Harvey have greatly
contributed to the health and safety of the university community and
visitors to Cal State Long Beach,” said Chief Jack Pearson of
the University Police Department, which nominated the two for the award.
Maryann Rozanski, director of CSULB’s Office of Safety and Risk
Management, added: “Since the deployment of AEDs on campus, they
have been used six times by trained campus employees to successfully
revive individuals in full cardiac arrest. There is little doubt that
these individuals’ efforts directly contributed to the saving
of those lives.”
According to recent statistics, some 250,000 Americans died of sudden
cardiac arrest—nearly one death every two minutes. And, according
to the American Red Cross, up to 50,000 of these deaths could have been
prevented if proper lifesaving procedures had been initiated and an
automated external defibrillator had been available for immediate use.
About the size of a laptop computer, an AED analyzes the heart’s
rhythm for any abnormalities, and, if necessary, it directs the rescuer
to deliver an electrical shock to the victim. The shock, called defibrillation,
may help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm of its own.
The device is easy to operate. It uses voice prompts to instruct the
rescuer. Once the machine is turned on, the rescuer is prompted to apply
two electrodes provided with the AED to the victim’s chest. Once
applied, the AED will begin monitoring the victim’s heart rhythm.
If a “shockable” rhythm is detected, the machine will charge
itself and instruct the rescuer to stand clear of the victim and press
the shock button.
“Cal State Long Beach is a perfect location for AEDs,” said
Harvey, the AED manager. “I mean, we
are very much like a small city. We have more than 34,000 students and
4,500 employees. Then, add to that the various venues and events (Carpenter
Center, The Pyramid, conferences, camps) we have here on campus which
attract thousands of visitors each year. This is a perfect place for
this type of training and equipment.”
Harvey and Jagusch began the process of bringing the AEDs to campus
two years ago. Together, they developed a policy and procedure manual
and submitted it the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services,
Office of Certification, for approval. At about the same time, university
police officers and personnel from Student Health Services and the Office
of Safety and Risk Management were trained to respond to cardiac emergencies,
including the proper use of AEDs.
When the county gave its approval, four of the external defibrillators
were placed on campus—three with the University Police and the
other with Student Health Services. Over the last 15 months or so, the
AEDs have been used in six separate instances, including three cardiac
arrests that resulted in two saved lives. A faculty member was among
those saved with the device.
“Using the AEDs six times in about 12 months is a lot. Three times
is a lot,” said Dr. Jagusch, the AED medical director who is now
an emergency medicine physician at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Children’s
Hospital of Orange County. “Usually, the AEDs sit on a shelf and
never get used at most places.”
Jagusch noted that in Los Angeles County the survival rate of a person
who suffers a cardiac emergency outside of a hospital is less than 5
percent. Survival, he said, depends on how quickly an AED unit gets
to the victim, adding, “Since the AEDs have been placed on campus,
the survival rate of cardiac arrest victims on campus has been 66 percent.”
Since the implementation of the program on campus, Harvey and Jagusch
have traveled to the American College Health Association annual national
conference in Washington, D.C. to present “Establishing AEDs on
a College Campus.” It is their hope that other colleges and universities
around the country will see the value of having such programs in place.
Established in 1980, the Governor’s Employee Safety Awards recognize
individuals and groups of employees who distinguish themselves through
outstanding safety and health service to the state. Awards have been
presented for lifesaving, responding to hazardous events and for developing
safety programs that were not part of the recipients’ normal duties.
The awards are presented for projects and events completed during the