Visitors to the Sheldon Swope Art Museum in Terre Haute will be safer on future visits because of the gift of an automated external defibrillator to be used in case of a medical emergency.
Swope museum staff received the donation Tuesday from Union Hospital Foundation representatives as part of American Heart Month. It was the first gift from the foundation’s community emergency and medical equipment fund, which was established anonymously to provide local organizations with equipment in case of a medical emergency.
“Providing AEDs is one way the Union Hospital Foundation fulfills its mission of promoting health and wellness to the residents of the Wabash Valley,” said Joel Harbaugh, foundation executive director.
Within three weeks, museum staff will be trained to use the device, said museum executive director Marianne Richter. The AED will be stored in a case with visible signage.
“We are extremely grateful to Union Hospital Foundation for this gift,” Richter said. “With more than 12,000 visitors annually, we will be able to provide our visitors with the safest possible visit. And, we have thousands of children visit, too, through school programs.”
Registered nurse Megan Finch with the Center for Education at Union Hospital said the AED is simple enough that once a person is trained on the device, it can be applied successfully so the machine takes over monitoring the patient.
Local emergency response providers will be notified that the museum has an AED and what model it is, Finch said, so that in an emergency, the responders can be prepared to continue care of the patient.
The average cost of an AED and the necessary training is about $2,000, Harbaugh said. Anyone wanting to support the distribution of lifesaving medical equipment to community-based nonprofit organizations in the Wabash Valley can contribute to the AED fund.
For more information about the fund, contact Harbaugh at 812-238-7534.