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Novant donates defibrillators to Rowan-Salisbury high schools

SALISBURY – The Novant Health sports medicine team has donated six automated external defibrillator (AED) devices to high schools in Rowan-Salisbury Schools.

The portable device delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart, restoring a normal heart rhythm in victims of sudden cardiac arrest and helping increase the chance of survival by more than 90 percent, according to the American Heart Association.

“When a person’s chances of survival drop up to 10 percent a minute until defibrillation, we know AEDs save lives and timely access can make a tremendous difference for student athletes,” said Bob Casmus, a certified athletic trainer and supervisor of Novant Health’s athletic trainers for the greater Winston-Salem market.

“Novant Health is pleased to help our schools meet not only the Safe Sports School requirement but also the recommendations of the National Athletic Trainers Association. Nothing is more important than ensuring all of our student athletes, in all of our communities, are safe and cared for. These AEDs will enhance and strengthen the emergency action plans for the high school athletic programs.”

The donation follows a partnership between Novant Health and Rowan-Salisbury Schools that began in December 2018 to provide advanced sports medicine care to student athletes. The partnership puts full-time Novant Health athletic trainers at six high schools (East Rowan, North Rowan, South Rowan, West Rowan, Carson and Salisbury) and improves access to various medical services, annual sports physicals, concussion management, and other education opportunities and supplies.

“The goal of our partnership is to enhance the safety and well-being of every high school student athlete competing for Rowan-Salisbury Schools,” said Dr. Eric Warren, medical director for Novant Health’s sports medicine program.

“While we are there to help a student athlete when an injury or other sports-related emergency occurs, our primary focus is on keeping our young people healthy both on and off the field,” Warren said. “This includes educating coaches, parents and the athletes on everything from the importance of warmups and nutrition to concussion management and overall wellness programs. We’re really looking forward to this work and are proud of this partnership.”

Novant Health, through the Novant Health Foundation’s Physicians Impact Fund, recently bought 14 AED devices for partner high schools throughout the area. These purchases cover six Rowan-Salisbury schools, seven Davidson County schools and Davie County High School. T

he impact fund also purchased new devices for partner schools in the Charlotte area.

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