Having AEDs in School is VERY Important

March 3, 2010

I don’t know about other parents or teachers but I find this article and research (published by Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association January  2010) annoying.

It is an article on how schools that don’t have funding perhaps should not worry about not being able to fund an AED because the chances of getting a return on the equipment are not proven.  Here is some of the content:

“A nationwide push to put portable defibrillators in every school, a response to several high-profile student deaths, may not be worth the cost, a new study in Seattle concludes. The survey of emergency response to schools in the Seattle area over 16 years found that students suffered cardiac arrests only 12 times and a third of these children had known heart problems.”  The article then goes on to say, “According to the study, schools are one of the best places for adults to suffer cardiac arrest.”

Protecting the teachers does not matter nor does it matter if I or family member will suffer a heart attack while watching my child participate in a school sporting event?  What if you are a parent that has one of those kids with a known heart problem or the 1 unfortunate unknown heart problem that year?

Figure out how to buy the AED.  There are ways to fund them.  The facts are that Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the biggest killer in America, killing around 300,000 people per year.  If an AED is not used within 2-4 minutes the chances of survival go from 65-70% to 5%.

Are you ready to be champion for AEDs at your school and help your PTO raise money? Go to Think Safe’s GivingTree for easy online fundraising or download this or visit the website of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association and download this paper on how you can become a champion for AEDs at your school.

You Can Save a Life at School PDF

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Proven Effective! AEDs in Schools Save Lives

August 12, 2009

The following is from AEDs in School Prove Effective at MedPage Today by Todd Neale on the importance and effectiveness of having AEDs at every school.

In a survey of high schools that had an AED program and had had a cardiac arrest within the preceding six months, 64% of cases — students and nonstudents alike — survived to hospital discharge, according to Jonathan Drezner, MD, of the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues.

Most of the schools (83.5%) had an emergency action plan in place for responding to sudden cardiac arrest, the researchers reported online in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

More than 92% of individuals suffering an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest do not survive to hospital discharge, and survival declines 7% to 10% for each minute defibrillation is delayed, according to Dr. Drezner and colleagues.

One study found that survival after exercise-related cardiac arrest in particular was only 11%.

Responding to the low survival rate, many schools have implemented AED programs and emergency response plans for sudden cardiac arrest.

However, it had remained unclear how effective early defibrillation was for treating cardiac arrest among student-athletes and others in schools.

To explore the issue, Dr. Drezner and colleagues identified 1,710 U.S. high schools that had at least one AED using the National Registry for AED Use in Sports.

According to a survey completed by school representatives, 83.5% of the schools had an established emergency action plan for sudden cardiac arrest; 60% of those with a plan developed it in collaboration with local EMS.

However, only 40% practiced and reviewed the plans at least once a year, and only 18% posted a written emergency plan at each athletic venue.

Of the respondents, 2.1% of the schools had had a sudden cardiac arrest occur on premises within the preceding six months.

Almost all (97%) were witnessed, 94% received CPR from a bystander, and 83% received an AED shock.

The average time from arrest to first shock was 3.6 minutes for students (mean age 16) and 1.8 minutes for nonstudents, including teachers, coaches, visitors, and other adults (mean age 57).

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of cases survived to hospital discharge, including nine of 14 student-athletes and 14 of 22 nonstudents.

“Although some deficiencies in emergency response planning were identified, a high survival rate for both student athletes and older nonstudents with sudden cardiac arrest was reported in high schools with on-site AED programs,” the researchers said.

“The need for ongoing CPR training, fully developed and executed emergency plans, and links to EMS are vital to the immediate and long-term outcomes of shock delivery,” Dianne Atkins, MD, of the University of Iowa in Iowa City said.

“The tragic death of an adolescent has a profound effect on the community, and the desire to protect this population may outweigh financial considerations,” she said.

Dr. Drezner and colleagues acknowledged some limitations of the study, including the low response rate (11%), the inclusion of schools that already had AED programs, the use of self-reported data, and the possibility that some cases of sudden cardiac arrest may have been missed.

For information on Think Safe’s AED solutions contact our AED Expert James Moroney.