LAFAYETTE, La (KLFY)– A partnership with the Ochsner Lafayette General Foundation and Ochsner Lafayette General Sports Medicine has resulted in 30 high schools in Acadiana receiving medical devices to aid in a cardiac arrest crisis.

It’s world philanthropy day, and in the spirit of giving Ochsner Lafayette General has partnered with Ochsner Lafayette General sports medicine to give away 30 automated external defibrillators to schools across Acadiana. Ochsner Lafayette General CEO Al Patin says celebrating world philanthropy day by donating AEDs to 30 high schools across Acadiana will be lifesaving. The medical devices are used to restore rhythm to a heart after it stops when a person is experiencing a cardiac crisis.

“We were able to celebrate with 30 of our high schools that we support from a sports medicine program by donating aids to their athletic program through the Ochsner Lafayette General Foundation and partners with Acadian companies, we were able to donate 30 AEDs that will be congruent with what’s on an ambulance,” said Patin.

Dr. Brian Etire with Ochsner Lafayette general Sports Medicine says witnessing NFL player Damar Hamlin’s collapse from a blow to the chest last year shook the sports medicine community.

“When Damar Hamlin had a cardiac arrest last year, it really woke up the sports medicine community saying, hey, we need to make sure that throughout our communities we have this technology available,” said Etire.

Dr. Brent Hebert with Safety Management Systems says until today, schools did not have access to AEDs and it has been a concern for medical professionals. He says its rare student athletes experience a cardiac crisis, but when they do, it can be fatal. And with the AEDs, students have a higher chance of surviving due to quick response times.

“The fact that some of these schools for so long did not have this nice device to use was very alarming to us as physicians,” said Hebert. “And we’ve been pushing harder for schools to try to get them. But unfortunately, they didn’t have the means or the funds, and it’s very rare. But when it happens, the mortality rate is very high.”

The overall goal is to make sure student athletes have access to life saving measures during school activities.

A full list of the 30 schools receiving an AED is listed below:

  • Abbeville High School
  • Academy of the Sacred Heart/Berchmans Academy
  • Acadiana High School
  • Acadiana Renaissance Charter Academy (ARCA)
  • Ascension Episcopal
  • Breaux Bridge High School
  • Carencro High School
  • Cecilia High School
  • Church Point High School
  • Comeaux High School
  • Crowley High School
  • David Thibodaux STEM
  • Erath High School
  • Gueydan High School
  • Iota High School
  • Kaplan High School
  • Lafayette High School
  • Lafayette Renaissance Charter Academy (LRCA)
  • Midland High School
  • North Vermilion High School
  • Northside Christian Academy
  • Northside High School
  • Notre Dame High School
  • Rayne High School
  • Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School
  • Southside High School
  • St. Martinville High School
  • St. Thomas More High School
  • Teurlings Catholic High School
  • Westminster Christian Academy Lafayette