Monday, March 26, 2012

AED's Save Lives in Schools

With an increasing number of students at local schools having cardiac episodes, the public is becoming more aware of what we have always known, children and young adults can and do have cardiac arrest. It is estimated that as many as 1 in 500 children have undiagnosed heart conditions, and approximately one case of sudden cardiac death occurs every three days in organized youth sports across the United States. This alarming statistic has teachers and parents on edge. “It seems that we lose at least one child locally per year due to cardiac arrest” says Jason Royse, President of Northwest Health and Safety Inc. “That number is unacceptable and there is something that we can and should be doing about it”.
Heart screening in young athletes is a priority and should be a part of every sports physical. States need to recognize that this is a public safety issue and develop strategies to make these screenings affordable and commonplace. Organizations like the Quinn Driscoll Foundation have partnered with Peace Health Southwest Medical Center to provide heart screenings for young athletes in the Clark County area at a significant discount. These screenings include a review of child’s personal and family health history, blood pressure, ECG/EKG (electrocardiogram) and echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart).  The screenings have been proven effective and have identified cardiac conditions that have allowed young athletes the ability to seek treatment.
Training staff in CPR and use of the AED should also be a standard by all schools and districts. When cardiac arrest strikes, the clock is ticking and survival depends on early CPR and early defibrillation. You cannot depend on a fast arriving EMS unit to provide treatment. Although you will call EMS immediately, the typical EMS response time in the United States is 8-10 minutes. What do you do while you wait? You start providing care with CPR and an AED (if one is available). Some studies show that the chances of survival decrease about 10% every minute without a defibrillator. CPR is easy to learn and can mean the difference between life and death.
Implementing an AED program within each school. AED’s in schools are becoming commonplace. Many states have passed legislation requiring AED’s in schools. It is important to not just place an AED but place an AED program, there is a difference. Placing an AED in a school means nothing if there is not a plan in place for training, maintenance, placement, medical direction and other key factors addressed. AED’s save lives not just for children but adults as well. Watch this news story of a young lady that was saved with an AED.
To find out more information about any of the subjects listed click on a link:
Quinn Driscoll Foundation
Young Champions Heart Screening
AED’s in Schools
AED laws
CPR Training