Chattanooga Student Takes AED Initiative

Sumner and Grall

After the heartbreaking news that student-athlete Sumner Smith died from cardiac arrest on October 5th, Cayce Grall knew she had to take action.

Smith and Grall knew each other after being lifeguards together, as well as both being swimmers in Chattanooga. An AED and CPR were used in an unsuccessful attempt to revive Smith after cardiac arrest which hit while swimming. Thankfully, there was an AED on site which significantly increase chances of survival after cardiac arrest.

To view the original story on Sumner Smith, click here:

After the tragic event, Cayce Grall decided to find out about her school’s AED situation. After checking into the situation, here are the key points that Grall noticed about her school’s (one) AED:

  1. The AED was so old that the manufacturer would no longer service it.
    • AED pads and batteries do expire which can lead to an un-usable AED. Also, like any device, technical issues can cause problems which can be resolved by sending your unit into a service department, like 2nd Life Biomedical, to stay up to date.
    • If you think/know your unit needs serviced, you can email: or call: 866-349-4363 and somebody will be able to insure your life-saving device is ready to use.
  2. There was only one AED and it was located in the front office which would take a long time to get to in a big school.
    • The maximum recommended time it should take is 90 seconds to get to an AED, which is a total of 3 minutes to get back to the victim.
    • On average, for every minute that the victim does not receive a necessary shock, the chances of survival decrease by 10%.
  3. The office where the AED is located is locked after hours, which is when many extra-curricular activities take place.
    • If nobody can get to the AED, it is not useful. These devices are designed for any lay-person to be able to use, so AEDs should be kept in a public location that is accessible to anyone. Often a solution for public access is to use an AED wall cabinet, like this one:

AEDs should be everywhere; however, if they are mismanaged or not available, they can become obsolete. Find out more on mismanaged AEDs here:

As a senior project, Grall decided that she would focus on AED awareness and necessity. To view the original story on Cayce Grall, click here:

Great job, Cayce Grall! AED awareness is key to raising cardiac arrest survival. #SumnerStrong

To learn more about AEDs, click here: If you have any questions, please call 866-349-4363 or email:

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