Mercy Medical Center donates Automated External Defibrillators to area nonprofits and schools

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - This week, Mercy Medical Center is donating Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs, to area non-profits and schools.

An Automated External Defibrillator is displayed at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. Mercy Medical Center donated 10 AEDs throughout Linn County (Marlon Hall/KCRG)

Today, staff dropped off six of the AEDs across various spots in Linn County. To qualify, the organization had to prove to Mercy that it truly needed the device.

St. Patrick's Catholic Church is on that list. Volunteers got to learn how to use the AED on Tuesday. It's a portable device that checks a person's heart rate. It also treats a sudden cardiac arrest by sending a electric shock to the heart.

Parishioners at St. Patrick's say an AED would have been useful in a few situations.

"We have had to call the ambulance a few times," St. Patrick's parishioner Cindy Koczo said. "Fortunately, those people that we did call were good and fine, so I do think this will be helpful."

Staff at Mercy said the AEDs are easy to use. The device gives out vocal commands that walks a person through each step. Medical staff said it can truly save a person's life and the first moments during a cardiac arrest are key.

Mercy Medical Center has donated 73 AEDs since 2014.