Category Archives: AEDs in Schools

Be Ready to Help in a Heartbeat

Student athletes spend hours training for competition — but how about training to save a life

SCA on Soccer Field

Studies show that 6,000 – 8,000 teens experience sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) annually.1 Every three days, a student athlete falls victim to sudden cardiac death.2

Student athletes are at heightened risk for SCA due to the additional strain placed on the heart during athletic conditioning and competition. Contributing factors include the influx of adrenaline, dehydration, fever, and changes in electrolytes.3

While SCA isn’t preventable, sudden cardiac death can be. All it takes is to educate students on the symptoms that can precede an SCA event and to have an automated external defibrillator (AED) readily available during athletic practices and competition.

SCA can strike without warning, but sometimes symptoms are presented. Student athletes often dismiss symptoms preceding an SCA event for fear of losing precious game time. That’s why it’s vitally important for athletes to fully understand the risks they face and feel confident speaking up to prevent sudden cardiac death.

Here are some of the warning signs:5

  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat – racing or fluttering
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Extreme fatigue

Nine out of ten victims who receive a shock from an AED within the first minute of SCA survive.4 Ensuring that your students and coaches are trained to respond to an SCA emergency could help save a life.

Download the ‘Help in a Heartbeat’ flyer to educate your team about the symptoms of SCA.

To learn more about the latest package from Cardiopartners to help your athletic teams respond to any emergency, visit: https://www.aed.com/zoll-aed-plus-athletic-director-s-package

1 “Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Teenage Athletes: What’s the Risk?”. Promise powered by Nemours Children’s Health System. https://blog.nemours.org/2017/02/sudden-cardiac-arrest-teenage-athletes-risk/

2 “Young Athletes & Sudden Cardiac Arrest”. Boston Scientific. http://www.your-heart-health.com/content/close-the-gap/en-US/heart-disease-facts/young-athletes.html

3 “Sports and Sudden Cardiac Arrest(SCA)”. Cardiosmart – American College of Cardiology. https://www.cardiosmart.org/Heart-Conditions/Sports-and-Sudden-Cardiac-Arrest

4Source: 2017, AHA Mediagenic Survey Results; 2017, AHA with Edelman Intelligence; 2017, AHA with BLR Media; Postgrad Medical Journal, October 2007.

5”Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in Student-Athletes”. California Interscholastic Federation. http://www.cifstate.org/sports-medicine/sca/index

Cardio Partners: A Year in Review

Top Blogs of 2018

2018 was a busy year for all of us here at Cardio Partners and AED.com. We had the honor of joining a Texas Girl Scout as she donated an AED to her community, we checked in with SCA Survivor Rob Seymour, partnered with Operation Homefront’s Back-to-School-Brigade, attended the EMS World Expo in Nashville, and celebrated as lawmakers in Tennessee and California enacted new AED legislation.

To discover your favorite posts, dear reader, we tallied the votes, counted the comments, and checked out the analytics. Thanks for reading!

Without further ado, here are the Top 10 Cardio Partners Blog Posts of 2018!

1) You Really Love Your Pets

And so do we! According to Google and Facebook, you sure do have a soft spot for your fur family! With nearly 15,000 page views and dozens of likes, CPR for Pets, with its step-by-step instructions, was a winner. Maybe our follow-up article, 8 Reasons Why Cats are Good for Your Health, which was published in late October in honor of National Cat Day, just hasn’t had time to gain traction.

2) Serious as a Heart Attack (or Sudden Cardiac Arrest)

The question, is it a heart attack or cardiac arrest? seems to be weighing heavily on the minds of our readers. What’s the difference, you ask? Here’s a little multiple choice pop quiz:

Which of the following best describes a heart attack?

  1. Don’t sneak up on me like that! You nearly gave me a heart attack.
  2. He almost had a heart attack when he found out how much dinner cost.
  3. Bacon for breakfast, bacon for lunch, bacon for dinner. Bacon, bacon, bacon. Now that’s a recipe for a heart attack!
  4. He made her heart skip a beat.

If you answered C, then you’ve been a loyal follower of the Cardio Partners blog! (Or you’re a doctor, an EMS professional, or an employee of Cardio Partners.) In a nutshell, a heart attack occurs with a blockage in a coronary artery blocks the flow of blood to the heart. A cardiac arrest occurs when the electrical system of the heart unexpectedly stops working.

3) Arcane Defibrillation and AED History is Fascinating

Perhaps the most surprising entry on this list is the History of Defibrillation, Defibrillators, and Portable AEDs. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who could resist the headline: “From Dogs to Tablespoons to ZOLL, AEDs Have Come a Long Way.” If you missed out the first time around, be sure to read up on the “Self-starter For a Dead Man’s Heart.”

4) Not All CPR is Created Equally

We can’t think of anything more frightening than performing CPR on a child or infant. It seems as though our readers feel the same way. Not only is this one of our top 5 posts of 2018, but readers spent more time reading this post than any other on this list. In this post, we covered the differences between infant, child, and adult CPR and also discussed the pediatric chain of survival.

5) Take Our Word For It: You Should Learn CPR

Plenty of Googlers were looking for reasons to learn CPR this year. Our post, 10 Reasons Why You Should Learn CPR, made it to the top of the charts!

6) Statistics Take the Cake

In case you missed the original post, here are 6 Shocking Statistics About Cardiac Arrest and AEDs, plus one extra for good measure:

  1. Each year, more than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) occur in the United States.
  2. Among middle-aged adults treated for Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), 50% had no symptoms before the onset of arrest.
  3. 475,000 Americans die from a cardiac arrest every year and 17.5 million people across the globe die from cardiovascular disease each year.
  4. 10,000 SCAs occur in the workplace each year.
  5. 68.5% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur at home.
  6. 45% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims survive when bystander CPR is administered.
  7. SCA kills more Americans than lung cancer, breast cancer, and HIV/AIDS combined.

7) You’re CPR-Curious

We gave you 10 great reasons why you should learn CPR, yet plenty of you wanted more information. What Will I Learn From a CPR or First Aid Class was also a big ratings winner. Read about it all you like, but nothing takes the place of the real thing. Sign up for a CPR, AED and First Aid training course near you!

8) It’s a Trip, It’s Got a Funky Beat, and I Can Bug Out to It!

We had some fun this summer curating our very own playlist, CPR Songs: Greatest Hits to Save Lives. From the Bee Gees’ rather obvious choice, “Stayin’ Alive,” to Bey and Jay’s “Crazy in Love” to JT’s  “Rock Your Body,” and just about everything in between, we found plenty of tunes set to a heart-thumping 100 to 120 beats per minute.

9) The Chain of Survival Really is a Thing

Why is the chain of survival so important, you ask? Because knowing and understanding each link in the chain can dramatically improve the survival odds of someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. According to the American Heart Association the five links in the adult out-of-hospital Chain of Survival are:

  1. Recognition of cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency response system
  2. Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with an emphasis on chest compressions
  3. Rapid defibrillation
  4. Basic and advanced emergency medical services
  5. Advanced life support and post-cardiac arrest care

10) A Shout-out to our Friends at Brentwood Fire and Rescue

The good people of Facebook voted with their “likes” and our final nod goes to the fabulous folks at the Brentwood Fire and Rescue Department. In “What You Need to Know to Stop the Bleed and Save a Life,” we shared a few tips and shared some additional information on the Curaplex Stop the Bleed Kit.

Have a safe New Year and a wonderful 2019! Questions about our products and services? Please contact Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. We also welcome your emails, and you can reach us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

How Obesity Plays a Deadly Role in Cardiac Arrest Among Young People

The Good News? Early Screening for Cardiovascular Risk Factors Can Save Lives.


We all know that being overweight or obese is bad for your health, but did you know the extent to which obesity and other risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol are linked to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in young people between the ages of five and 34?

A recent study conducted by Sumeet S. Chugh, MD, medical director of Cedars-Sinai’s Heart Rhythm Center in Los Angeles and a leader in sudden cardiac death research, found that easily identifiable cardiovascular risk factors were common in young people who suffer from cardiac arrest.

First, a quick word about SCA. Unlike a heart attack, which occurs when one or more coronary artery becomes blocked, SCA occurs when the heart stops beating, stopping the flow of blood to the brain and to other vital organs. SCA often occurs abruptly and without warning. If the heartbeat is not restored with an electrical shock, death follows within minutes. In fact, SCA accounts for more than 350,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Cardiac arrest claims one life every 90 seconds and accounts for more deaths than colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, influenza, pneumonia, auto accidents, HIV, firearms, and house fires combined (Heart Rhythm Society).

Obesity can significantly increase the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, and all three of these conditions are closely connected with heart disease. In fact, Science Daily reports that being overweight or obese increases a person’s risk of coronary heart disease by up to 28% compared to those with a healthy body weight, even if they have healthy blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels!

We recently investigated What Causes Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Young People and found that although causes of SCA in children and young adults vary, death is often a result of genetic heart abnormalities, structural abnormalities, or commotio cordis caused by athletic activity. However, researchers at Cedars-Sinai have discovered that obesity and other common (and often preventable) cardiovascular risk factors may play a much greater role in SCA in children and younger people than previously known.

Obesity, Other Risks Play Large Role in Sudden Cardiac Arrest Among the Young,” an article published by the hospital about Dr. Chugh’s study, notes that “Combinations of obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking were found in nearly 60 percent of cases studied. The findings shed light on a public health problem among the young that has remained largely unsolved.”

“One of the revelations of this study is that risk factors such as obesity may play a much larger role for the young people who die from sudden cardiac arrest than previously known,” said Dr. Chugh.

The comprehensive 16-hospital, multiyear assessment was conducted as part of the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study.  The study was partially funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Routine Preventative Visits May Reduce Cardiovascular Risk

In the article, Dr. Chugh suggests extending prevention efforts (such as offering resources for smoking cessation programs, sharing exercise guidelines, and tips for healthy eating) to include routine preventive screenings for children and young adults. This addition could help reduce cardiovascular risk.

“The added benefit of such screenings is that early efforts to reduce cardiovascular risk are known to translate into reduction of adult cardiovascular disease,” he said.

These visits, typically covered at no charge by health insurance providers (healthcare.gov), usually include screenings, checkups, and counseling. The goal of these visits is to help prevent health problems before a young person at risk for sudden cardiac arrest experiences any symptoms. By reducing known risk factors for cardiovascular disease, we may simultaneously lower the number of deaths caused by cardiac arrest.

We hope you’ll visit our blog in the coming weeks for more information on smoking cessation and for strategies to prevent heart disease. In the meantime, if you’re thinking about purchasing a new or recertified AED for your home or workplace, or you’d like to schedule AED training or maintenance, visit AED.com or call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. We also welcome your emails, you can reach us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

What Causes Sudden Death in Young People?

These 4 Heart Problems Are Often Blamed for Sudden Death in Young People

Although thankfully very rare, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) claims the lives of an estimated 6,000-8,000 individuals under the age of 35 each year (Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation).  While a vast majority of the more than 356,000 cardiac arrests that are recorded each year occur in adults over the age of 35 who suffer from coronary artery disease, these numbers are still something to be concerned about. The Mayo Clinic estimates that perhaps 1 in every 50,000 SCA deaths a year occurs in young athletes.

While it’s uncommon, and millions of elementary, high school, and collegiate athletes compete each year without incident, SCA can happen at any time and to anyone. If you think that you or your child might be at risk of sudden death, be sure to talk to your doctor about precautions you can take.

What Causes Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Young People?

Causes of SCA in children and young adults vary; however, most often death is a result of genetic heart abnormalities, structural abnormalities, or commotio cordis.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

Typically an inherited condition, HCM causes the heart muscle cells to enlarge and which then causes the walls of the ventricle (usually the left ventricle) to thicken. This may block the blood flow out of the ventricle — if this occurs, it’s called obstructive HCM.

Non-obstructive HCM, according to the American Heart Association, “can affect the heart’s mitral valve, causing blood to leak backward through the valve. Sometimes, the thickened heart muscle doesn’t block blood flow out of the left ventricle. This is referred to as non-obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The entire ventricle may thicken, or the thickening may happen only at the bottom of the heart. The right ventricle also may be affected.”

HCM is very common and affects men and women equally. Often, people who have HCM experience no warning signs or symptoms. Others may experience shortness of breath ordisruptions to the heart’s electrical system which can lead to fast or irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias) and may result in SCA. Although usually not fatal, HCM it often goes undetected and is the most common cause of heart-related sudden death in people under 30.

Congenital Coronary Artery Abnormalities

Occasionally people are born with unusual or abnormal heart arteries. If this occurs, arteries may become compressed during exercise and not provide adequate blood flow to the heart.

Long QT Syndrome

Long QT syndrome, caused by abnormalities of proteins in the heart, is also an inherited heart rhythm disorder that may lead to fainting and can cause life-threatening arrhythmias. People with long QT syndrome are at an increased risk for suffering from cardiac arrest. Nearly half of the individuals with long QT never exhibit a symptom of the abnormality. Although there is no cure, medication may help (SADS Foundation).

Commotio Cordis

We discussed commotio cordis at length in March, but in a nutshell, this rare cause of sudden cardiac death can occur in anyone. Because it occurs as the result of a blunt blow to the chest, which can cause ventricular fibrillation, athletes are especially susceptible. The average age of athletes who suffer from sudden cardiac arrest is just 17 and more than two-thirds of young athletes who die suddenly are basketball and football players. Baseball, softball, hockey, and lacrosse players, however, are also especially susceptible to commotio cordis.

What are the Warning Signs of Heart Problems in Young People?

Unfortunately, sudden cardiac death often occurs with no warning or indication. However, if you or your child experience dizziness or unexplained fainting during physical activity, it could be an indication that the heart isn’t working properly.  Likewise, if you or your child experience shortness of breath or chest pain, speak to your doctor immediately!

Finally, if there’s a family history of sudden cardiac death or unexplained deaths before the age of 50, you may want to discuss cardiac screening options with your physician.

Cardio Partners offers CPR, first aid, and AED training courses in all 50 states in traditional classroom settings and in blended learning courses. To learn more about our courses or to equip your facilities with an AED, call our team at 866-349-4362, visit aed.com or email Cardio Partners at customerservice@cardiopartners.com. We’d love to hear from you!

California Enacts New AED Legislation

New Laws Mandate AEDs at Public Swimming Pools, Schools and More

Legislators across the country appear to have AEDs on their minds, and they continue to develop legislation to ensure that their constituents have access to life-saving technology in public places. In May, Tennessee enacted legislation requiring AEDs in schools and requiring teachers to have AED training. Late last month, California amended existing AED laws and joined Maryland, New Jersey, and Oregon in requiring AEDs at public swimming pools.

AEDs Required at California Swimming Pools

The law, which was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on September 6, 2018, is summarized in the official Legislative Counsel’s Digest as follows, “This bill would require those public swimming pools, as defined, that are required to provide lifeguard services and that charge a direct fee to additionally provide an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) during pool operations, as specified. Because the failure to comply with these provisions would be a crime, the bill would create a state-mandated local program. The bill would also require the State Department of Education, in consultation with the State Department of Public Health, to issue best practices guidelines related to pool safety at K–12 schools, as specified.”

Assembly Bill 2009 Requires AEDs at Interscholastic Athletic Programs

Joining 17 other states that have enacted some form of AED legislation pertaining to schools, California now requires school districts’ public and charter schools that offer interscholastic athletic programs to:

  • Put an emergency action plan in place addressing, among other things, sudden cardiac arrest emergencies.
  • Acquire at least one AED for each public or charter school in the district (effective July 1, 2019) to be available on campus.
  • Encourage that AEDs be made available for use within 3-5 minutes of sudden cardiac arrest.
  • Ensure AEDs are made available to athletic trainers and coaches and other authorized individuals at athletic programs, on-campus activities, and events.
  • Ensure AEDs are properly inspected and maintained.

Fatal Heart Attack on Metrolink Prompts Changes to AED Laws

In August 2017, a man collapsed and died on an LA-bound Metrolink train. According to the LA Times, passengers performed CPR and called 911, but without an AED on board, they were unable to provide additional assistance. By the time the train arrived at Union Station, more than 30 minutes after the passenger had collapsed, it was too late.

Senate Bill 502, enacted on September 20, now requires public entities operating certain commuter rail systems to have an AED on board each train on or before July  1, 2020. Training of employees on AED use is encouraged, but not required.

New Construction, Renovations, and Tenant-improved Buildings Now Need an AED

Existing California laws mandated the placement of AEDs in certain newly constructed buildings with an occupancy of more than 200. This new addendum now requires “…certain occupied structures that are not owned or operated by any local government entity and are constructed on or after January 1, 2017, to have an automated external defibrillator (AED) on the premises. This bill would apply the AED requirements to certain structures that are constructed prior to January 1, 2017, and subject to subsequent modifications, renovations, or tenant improvements, as specified.”

A Summary of California’s AED Statutes

  • Any person who, in good faith and not for compensation, renders emergency care or treatment by the use of an AED at the scene of an emergency is not liable for any civil damages resulting from any acts or omissions in rendering the emergency care.
  • AED registration is required.
  • AEDs should be maintained according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • AED should be tested at least biannually and after each use.
  • When an AED is placed in a building, the building owner shall, at least once a year, notify the tenants as to the location of the AED units and provide information to tenants about who they can contact if they want to voluntarily take AED or CPR training.
  • Instructions for AED use should be posted in 14 point type next to the device.
  • AEDs are required in health studios and fitness centers.
  • AEDs are required in assembly buildings with an occupancy of greater than 300; business buildings with an occupancy of 200 or more; educational buildings with an occupancy of 200 or more; factory buildings with an occupancy of 200 or more; institutional buildings with an occupancy of 200 or more; mercantile buildings with an occupancy of 200 or more; residential buildings with an occupancy of 200 or more, excluding single-family and multifamily dwelling units.
  • If the governing board of a school district or the governing body of a charter school requires a course in health education for graduation from high school, then instruction in performing compression-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should be included in the course.
  • AEDs are required at public swimming pools.
  • Public and charter schools with interscholastic athletic programs must have AEDs.
  • Certain commuter trains must have AEDs (effective July 2020).

 

We’ll do our best to keep you up-to-date on the latest AED legislation. Subscribe to our blog for the latest AED news and updates. For more information about AED laws, call the team at Cardio Partners and AED.com at 866-349-4362 or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

Please note: The information included in this post and on our website is not intended as legal advice. As legislation changes often, this post may inadvertently contain inaccurate or incomplete information. We urge you to contact your state representative should you require more information about current AED laws in your state.

10 Reasons Why AED Drills Are Important in Schools

Discover why AED drills are important and learn how to run an effective drill.

AEDs can save lives, but only if educators and administrators are prepared to take action. Tornado, fire, lockdown, and even active shooter drills are the norm for most schools across the country, but when is the last time you scheduled a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA)/AED drill?

In this post, we’ll discuss the reasons why SCA/AED drills are important in schools and we’ll give you the tools you need to create an effective drill.

Why are AED Drills Important? SCA is Shockingly Common in Schools.

A couple of weeks ago, we covered the importance of AEDs in schools. However, if you’re a by-the-numbers kind of person, here are a few statistics about SCA in schools and in children under the age 18:

  1. In the United States, 1 in 25 schools experiences an SCA event each year.
  2. In 2017, 7,037 children died from cardiac arrest.
  3. Schools are community gathering places, and adults are even more likely to suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in a school setting than young adults.
  4. The hospital survival rate of students who experience SCA in a school with an AED is approximately 70%.
  5. The hospital survival rate of students who experience SCA in a school without an AED is approximately 8%.
  6. Student-athletes are more than 2 times as likely to die from SCA than non-athletes.
  7. 66% of the deaths caused by SCA in children occur during regular exercise.
  8. SCA caused by commotio cordis is the most common cause of traumatic death in youth baseball.
  9. Survival decreases an astounding 10% every minute until a defibrillator shock is applied.
  10. SCA in young people can be caused by Long QT Syndrome, commotio cordis, or congenital heart disease.

Sources: American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, Resuscitation Journal, Close the Gap, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, National Institute of Health, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

How to Run an Effective AED Drill: Create, Practice, and Review.

Developing and running effective AED drills are an essential part of your school’s emergency plan. Because the single most important contributing factor for survival of SCA is minimizing the time from collapse to defibrillation —  survival decreases an astounding 10% every minute until a shock is applied — knowing what to do and how to do it quickly may save a life of a student, parent, or school employee.

Regularly scheduled drills can test your team and your student body’s readiness and their ability to act quickly and to respond appropriately in the event of a cardiac emergency.

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation’s publication Saving Lives in Schools and Sports recommends developing and conducting practice drills for your cardiac Emergency Action Plan (EAP); it’s the best way to make sure it works! Then, once you’ve executed your drill, be sure that you conduct a detailed post-drill review so you and your team can make changes based on real-life scenarios.

Planning Your AED Drill

Here’s a convenient checklist for your annual or semi-annual AED drill:

  • Inform your team that you’ll be conducting a drill in the next week or two so they have an opportunity to review your EAP.
  • Make sure your staff is trained in adult, child, and infant CPR.
  • Choose a scenario that fits your setting.
  • Designate an observer/proctor to administer the drill.
  • Develop a drill worksheet (this worksheet should include the scenario for the drill, the time the drill commenced, when the victim was found, time the rescuer called 911, when chest compressions started, when other bystanders arrived on the scene, when the AED arrived on the scene, when AED training pads were applied, and the names of each individual performing the actions).
  • You’ll need an appropriately-sized CPR Manikin, AED trainer, AED, and a timing device.

Day of AED Drill

On the day of your school’s AED drill, your designated observer will place the CPR manikin in an appropriate, visible location. As soon as the manikin has been observed and someone has activated the EAP, the observer should note the time and read the scenario to the responders.

As soon as the responders have obtained the AED from its usual location, the observer should hand the rescuers the AED trainer to continue the drill (if possible, ask an assistant to return the emergency-ready AED to its clearly marked and accessible location). Do not use your emergency-ready AED for the drill! During this time the observer will record times and responses. If possible, the observer should take a video recording of the drill for post-drill evaluation.

After Drill Review

First, congratulate your team on a job well done! Then give everyone some time to process and think about their part in the drill. After everyone has had a day to think about how things went, bring your staff members together for a detailed analysis of your AED drill. Ask your educators what they thought went well. If possible, review the video of the drill. Ask your observer to note what the rescuers did right and what they could have been done better. Consider which parts of the drill went smoothly and which parts were more challenging.

If you make changes to your emergency action plan, be sure to communicate those changes and schedule another drill for later in the school year!

For more information about AED packages for your school or AED and CPR training, call the team at Cardio Partners and AED.com at 866-349-4362 or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

The Importance of AEDs in Schools

10 Facts About Automated External Defibrillators in Schools

With students across the country settling in for another year of learning, now is the perfect time to discuss the importance of AEDs in schools. Last week we covered the differences in adult, child, and infant CPR as well as the pediatric chain of survival and this week we’ll cover some interesting facts and statistics about AEDs in schools.

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occurs when the heart stops beating suddenly and unexpectedly. Often, this is caused by ventricular fibrillation (VF). VF is an abnormality in the heart’s electrical system, and when this occurs blood stops pumping to the brain, heart, and the rest of your vital organs. Bystanders who promptly begin CPR and defibrillation can keep oxygenated blood flowing throughout the body and preserve life.

Although sudden cardiac death (SCD) is shocking and leaves its mark on survivors, regardless of the age of the victim, it’s particularly tragic when school-aged children are the victims of SCD. The scars left by SCD on families, schools, and communities can be profound. Here at Cardio Partners and AED.com, we’re doing our best to raise awareness about SCA and to advocate for AEDs in the home, on the job, and in our schools.

Thousands of Children Die From Cardiac Arrest Each Year

According to the American Heart Association’s latest figures, 7,037 children die from cardiac arrest each year. When you consider that most American children spend between 175 and 180 days in school each year and receive between 900 and 1,000 hours of instructional time per year (Center for Public Education) it’s critically important for our public schools to have AEDs readily available.

SCA is Shockingly Common

It’s hard to believe, but two in fifty high schools in the United States can expect an SCA event each year.

Most States Do Not Require AEDs in Public Schools

Although Tennessee, Cardio Partners’ home state, just joined the ranks of states that require AEDs in public high schools, fewer than 20 states have enacted legislation requiring AEDs in public schools. Just nine of those states provide funding for AEDs.

AEDs in Schools Dramatically Improve the Hospital Survival Rate

The hospital survival rate of students who suffer from cardiac arrest in a school with an AED is approximately 70%, compared with only approximately 8% in the overall population of school-age children (American College of Cardiology).

Young Athletes are More Likely to Experience Sudden Cardiac Death than Non-Athletes

In the United States, a young competitive athlete dies suddenly every three days. Young athletes are more than twice as likely to experience SCD than young non-athletes (Close the Gap). The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found that two-thirds of the deaths caused by SCA in children occur during exercise or activity. In fact, SCA is the leading cause of death in young athletes.

Every Second Counts

The American College of Cardiology notes that, “The most important contributing factor for survival of sudden cardiac arrest is the time from collapse to defibrillation. Survival decreases 10% every minute until a shock is applied.”

Anyone Can Use an AED

Studies indicate that students without any prior CPR or AED training can accurately use an AED as directed. AEDs are, by design, easy to use. By following an AED’s simple, clear voice prompts, bystanders can perform the crucial steps that can save a life.

The Biggest Hurdle for Many Schools is Cost

Many companies, including Cardio Partners and AED.com, offer affordable AED packages to schools. These packages may include an AED, compliance management, a wall cabinet, AED pads, a rescue-ready kit, signage, and more. CPR and AED training courses are also available.

Finding the Best Location for Your AED is Important

Your school’s AED can’t save a life if no one can find it! Finding the best placement for your AED is crucial. Locating an AED in a highly visible and public location can mean the difference between life and death.

Good Samaritan Laws Protect Bystanders

You should never be afraid to lend assistance to someone experiencing SCA. Although not all states mandate the placement of AEDs in schools, all 50 states have enacted Good Samaritan laws to protect bystanders who use an AED to resuscitate a victim of SCA.

For more information about AED packages for your school or AED and CPR training, call the team at Cardio Partners and AED.com at 866-349-4362 or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.