Stop the Bleed and AEDs at the University of Connecticut

We received the following testimonial from Justin Pedneault, the University of Connecticut Rescue President & Training Coordinator. Justin contacted School Health for assistance in getting the university to their goal of being a Heart Safe Campus. 

At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, I was working with the University of Connecticut School of Nursing on the Storrs campus to add a second AED to the nursing building. In addition to this, I wanted to add signs throughout the building directing people to the nearest AED, a first response kit and bleeding control kits to both AEDs, and then seek HeartSafe Workplace designation from the Connecticut Department of Public Health.  As part of this process, School of Nursing Dean Deborah Chyun asked me to give a 3-5-minute presentation at a campus-wide forum, with all academic department heads represented, in April 2018.  I gave a quick talk about the need for these improvements and how I was working with the School of Nursing to get them done. Following my presentation, the provost’s office, which put the event together, was flooded with emails asking how to do the same thing in all of the other academic departments and schools on the Storrs campus.

In response, the provost’s office created a committee that included the UConn Fire Department, Michael Zacchera from Hartford Hospital, Dr. Richard Kamin from UConn Health, the Facilities and Maintenance unit, the Office of Planning and Design, the Office of Emergency Management and myself. Our goal was to spend $150,000 towards accomplishing this task in academic buildings by the end of the fiscal year, giving us about 30 days to select equipment and place the first order.  We quickly met and ordered 100 Stryker (Physio Control) CR-Plus AEDs, alarmed cabinets, and 200 stop-the-bleed kits (2 kits with each AED cabinet) from School Health. This included signage and first response kits (mask, gloves, trauma shears, razor, etc.) with each AED. These were destined for all academic buildings on every UConn campus.

We were extremely fortunate that School Health worked with the manufacturer to donate all the cabinets, enabling us to purchase an additional 35 AEDs/cabinets/bleeding control supplies. We have since been given permission to plan for an additional 200 AEDs (with cabinets, first response kits and bleeding control kits) to cover every single building including residential and staff buildings on every single UConn campus (Storrs, Stamford, Hartford, Avery Point, Depot Campus). Our goal is to deliver an AED and bleeding control supplies to any victim in a round- trip walk of less than 3 minutes. This is a requirement to get the Connecticut Department of Public Health HeartSafe Campus designation, which we as a university are working to attain.  We have been working very closely with the DPH and they have been touring buildings with us while selecting the locations for these emergency supplies. Every inch of every building is being evaluated to determine the most beneficial and appropriate locations.

School Health has been a helpful and valuable partner in our effort to meet the needs of a large, complex enterprise like the University of Connecticut that has dozens of academic buildings spread across five campuses. Our goal is to make our campuses safe and responsive places for our students, faculty, staff, and visitors, and School Health has been key in helping us reach that goal.

Outside of my efforts with this committee, I also serve as the President and Training Coordinator for UConn Rescue, a student organization at the University of Connecticut which allows students to gain experience in the medical field with EMS training. This organization meets monthly with EMS continuing education classes and training scenarios for members. A key component of UConn Rescue is our training program. UConn Rescue regularly hosts American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare Provider CPR/AED classes, AHA Heartsaver CPR/AED classes, AHA Heartsaver First Aid classes, and Stop the Bleed classes each semester. We began offering our first classes in April 2016 after I became an American Heart Association Basic Life Support CPR Instructor. I continue to be responsible for every aspect of coordinating, teaching, ordering, managing instructors for our ever-growing and expanding training classes each semester. UConn Rescue has offered over 1,500 seats for various trainings and trained almost 1,000 students, staff and faculty. These student-run programs meet the training requirement for the Connecticut DPH HeartSafe Campus designation.

While working on the HeartSafe Workplace efforts with the School of Nursing during the spring 2018 semester, I worked on integrating the Stop the Bleed class into the nursing simulation curriculum. The plan was to replace an existing assignment in the nursing students’ junior class schedule during a simulation in their fundamentals nursing class. As such, all undergraduate nursing students will be trained in the Stop the Bleed class before graduation in their junior year fall semester.

I have greatly enjoyed my efforts at the University of Connecticut and I look forward to seeing all my projects through and always seeking to improve existing processes.

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