In April 2012, UEM received a special accreditation, Gran Espacio Cardioprotegido, from the Spanish Society of Medicine and Work Safety (Sociedad Española de Medicina y Seguridad del Trabajo - SEMST) for their efforts to make their facilities safer. UEM becomes the first center of higher education to ensure their ability to act efficiently in the event that any member of the university community suffers a heart attack.
The initiative was launched based on the recommendations of the American Heart Association (AHA), with the support of Medtronic / Physio-Control and the recognition of the SEMST. In accordance with the requirements of this accreditation, the University has eight defibrillators (Semi - Automatic External Defibrillator) on its Villaviciosa de Odon campus and provided training for a number of health workers for their use. Additionally, local emergency services, Health Centers, Police, and the SUMMA-112, are working in collaboration with the University and can in the case of an emergency even guide a listener on their use via the phone.
UEM meets two of their key objectives through these efforts. First, they are reducing the response time for victims of a heart attack. Second, they are educating the entire community-students, staff and visitors- about the prevalence of cardiovascular disease, which is a deep-seated problem around the world. It is estimated that 30% of those affected by acute myocardial infarction die before reaching a hospital, and when a person suffers a cardio respiratory attack, every minute that passes without assistance (applying resuscitation and using a defibrillator) reduces their chances of survival by 7% to 10%.
According to Miguel Carmelo, president of UEM and Laureate’s Mediterranean region, "accreditation as a 'Gran Espacio Cardioprotegido' is another step in our commitment to society and our environment. Increasing the number of defibrillators and providing specific training can minimize reaction time if someone has a heart attack on our campus. A few minutes may be key to making sure the attack is less severe and can, in some cases, save lives."
The measure is part of Healthy Campus, an ambitious project launched by UEM in 2010 to promote healthy living and respect for the environment throughout the university community. Among other things, the plan is characterized by encouraging a healthy lifestyle, good nutrition, physical exercise and Spain’s first smoke-free campus. This is supported by certifications such as ISO 14001:2004, which UEM earned in 2007, becoming the 1st university to meet these requirements in Spain.
The Spanish Society of Medicine and Work Safety (SEMST) is a federation of independent associations founded in 1956 that represents more than 3,000 professionals in occupational health and safety. Among other activities, it certifies work done by companies and institutions in the field of heart attack prevention and response.
This article was originally written in Spanish and has been translated into English to be shared on the Laureate International Universities website.