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(Photo courtesy: VUSD)

Eric Paredes Save A Life Foundation Donates 100th AED to Vista Schools

Thanks to Local Sponsor M Bar C Construction Underwrites 20 New AEDs

Vista CA— On Wednesday, May 29, 2019, the Eric Paredes Save A Life Foundation marked its 100th Automated External Defibrillator (AED) donated with the presentation of 20 AEDs to the Vista Unified School District (VUSD). The 20 life-saving devices were generously underwritten by M Bar C Construction.

Now in its 10th anniversary year, the foundation works to prevent Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) death in youth by providing free heart screenings to find abnormalities that put 1 in 300 youth at risk, and equipping area schools and youth centers with the only life-saving device that can restart the heart of a SCA victim.

“There is no national law that provides for AEDs in schools, even though sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death on school campuses and the number one killer of student athletes,” said Rhina Paredes-Greeson, co-founder and mom to Eric, who was lost 10 years ago this July to a heart condition no one knew he had. “Lack of funding often prohibits schools from having enough AEDs so that one can be reached within three minutes from where an SCA victim collapses. These 20 AEDs will augment VUSD’s current efforts to be prepared to respond to a cardiac emergency.”

The AEDs were generously underwritten by M Bar C Construction, a North County-based contractor providing custom design/build shade and solar solutions for commercial, government, military and school facilities.

“We’ve been honored to champion SCA prevention in youth by underwriting the foundation’s Save A Heart, Save A Life AED program,” said M Bar C Construction President and CEO Jason Ianni. “Through the work we do on school campuses throughout California, we donate an AED to that school community and invite them to participate in a free program that supports cardiac emergency preparedness where youth congregate. It’s our pleasure to make this available to VUSD.”

Statistics show that 92% of SCA victims die, in part because emergency intervention must occur within five minutes of collapse, which includes hands-only CPR and use of an AED. The average arrival time for EMS can be 6 to 12 minutes, so schools must be prepared to respond to a cardiac emergency until help arrives. As reported by the American Heart Association, up to 16,000 youth are stricken each year from a syndrome the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute calls a public health crisis.

“The generous donation of these AED’s will help ensure the well-being of our students,” said VUSD Superintendent Dr. Linda Kimble. “The shared belief in the health of our children makes our partnership with Eric Paredes Save A Life Foundation and M Bar C Construction so valuable to our students and the community.”

VUSD will continue to prioritize SCA prevention in youth by partnering with the Eric Paredes Save A Life Foundation to provide a free heart screening for area youth ages 12 to 25 in February 2020. Heart screenings are not part of well-child exams or pre-participation physicals for sports, so the foundation works with local schools to offer them for free. To date, the foundation has screened over 31,000 youth, finding close to 500 with heart abnormalities they didn’t know they had.