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Tree of Life is Saving Lives: Join the SMMC Auxiliary for the Annual Tree Lighting on December 5


Do you think “heart attack” are two of the most frightening words in the English language? If so, you probably know a heart attack survivor or knew someone who did not survive.  Survivors are often described as “lucky” but luck plays a small role in most survivors’ stories.  Skilled health care professionals using sophisticated equipment at the right time are the key elements that restore heart functions. This year, the Southern Maine Medical Center (SMMC) Auxiliary’s Tree of Life appeal focuses on providing SMHC doctors, nurses and emergency caregivers with a state-of-the-art defibrillator needed to ensure that fewer heart attacks are fatal events. On Wednesday, December 5 at 4:00 p.m. they will light the Tree of Life outside SMHC’s main lobby.

Clinicians use defibrillators in conjunction with Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). The new defibrillator to be purchased provides two exceptional services:  “See-Thru CPR” and daily self tests.  “See-Thru CPR” provides real-time feedback on CPR allowing clinicians to know the exact rhythm and depth of their compressions without interrupting their life-saving effort.  With this feedback, clinicians can instantaneously adjust their efforts and more accurately determine when to use paddles.

Sophisticated defibrillators are must-have equipment but, thankfully, they are generally used only a few times a week.  Yet, when needed, defibrillators must be in perfect working order literally in a split second.  Previously, preventive maintenance and monitoring of key defibrillator systems required a daily investment of staff time. This new defibrillator performs daily self tests on 40 key functions and sends the results a clinician for review.  If a test is failed, a special alert explaining the problem is sent to the clinician. The self testing ability frees a clinician to do work directly related to patient care.

We invite the public to attend the Tree Lighting in which heart attack survivor Nelson Ballou will flip the switch to illuminate the trees, kicking off the holiday season.  We also invite everyone to consider making a gift toward this truly life-saving project by calling SMHC’s Development Office at 283-7234.

About Southern Maine Medical Center
Southern Maine Medical Center (SMMC) is a national award-winning healthcare system including a medical center offering excellent clinical care and a multi-specialty physician services group. SMHC features Maine's newest state-of-the-art emergency and fast track care as well as a full range of inpatient and outpatient services at its 150-bed acute care medical center. SMHC's physician services offers high quality medical care through offices located in Biddeford, Kennebunk, Old Orchard Beach, and Saco and a wide array of outpatient services at its diagnostic and therapy centers in Saco, Kennebunk, and Biddeford. SMHC is Joint Commission accredited, state-licensed, and is a member of the MaineHealth system. To learn more visit

Media Contact:

Karen Chasse, 207-283-7238

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