Tag Archives: Pediatric SCA

TN Lawmakers Pass AED Legislation

New Tennessee Law Requires AEDs and AED Training for School Personnel

Tennessee state lawmakers recently passed legislation that requires automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in all public high schools. It also encourages districts to equip middle and elementary schools with them as well. The new legislation, which is currently awaiting Governor Haslam’s signature, also provides funding for public high schools that are unable to afford the devices.

The bill was backed by Rhonda Harrill, an East Tennessee mother who lost her son in 2009 to cardiac arrhythmia. According to a segment that aired on Blount County’s 10News in 2016, Tanner, her athletic and active son, had told his basketball coach that he wasn’t feeling well and took a seat on the bench. Just moments later the 13-year-old suffered a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and collapsed.

Although Tanner’s coach immediately began CPR and a bystander quickly called 911, the young athlete was pronounced dead less than an hour after his collapse. Later, an autopsy revealed that he suffered from a condition called Long-QT syndrome, which can cause fast and chaotic heartbeats, fainting, seizures, and as in Tanner’s case, sudden death.

In the nine years that have passed since her son’s death, Tanner’s mother has been advocating for AED legislation. Last month, Knox News reported that Harrill “First fought for a bill to require AED placement in schools across the state, then for training and AED drills to keep teachers and older high school students trained up on the lifesaving devices. The new bill, which still needs to be signed by the governor to become law, provides funding for schools who cannot afford AEDs to purchase them.”

Many companies, including Cardio Partners and AED.com, offer affordable AED packages for schools, helping ensure that students, teachers, and community members are protected. 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.

Why AEDs Are Important

Harrill believes an AED could have saved her son’s life.

“[I] had heard of AEDs, didn’t know if the school had one,” she said in the interview with 10News. “They did, but it was locked up in the office, and it was behind a mailbox where teachers get their mail. You would have never known it was there.”

Tennessee’s new law marks a huge step forward in school heart safety. The American Heart Association reports that 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States each year! Tragically, more than 7,000 youth under the age of 18 experience SCA annually (Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation). AEDs in schools can help save lives by restoring normal heart rhythms in individuals who have suffered a cardiac arrest.

While these automated devices are easy to use, annual AED training can increase user confidence and efficiency.

Furthermore, finding the best location for AED placement is critically important. Placing an AED in a highly visible and public location can mean the difference between life and death. Although Tanner’s school had an AED, it wasn’t located in the gym, where the likelihood of SCA is the highest. Not only that, but the device wasn’t even accessible to the general public.

When this bill is signed by Governor Haslam, Tennessee will join a growing number of states that have passed legislation that requires or recommends AEDs in schools. For more information about AED legislation, we encourage you to read our recent post, An Overview of State AED Laws and Recommendations.

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.

Summer Safety Tips


Summer is a season filled with sunshine, barbecues, and recreational swimming! Whether in a pool at home, at a friend’s, at the lake or the ocean, many kids and adults choose swimming as a top recreational activity each summer.

Water safety is top priority for many parents for good reason. According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages 1-4. Though prevention is key, knowing how to perform CPR could save a life, like in this recent story of a 6th grader saving her friend by performing CPR after nearly drowning.

Staggering Swimming Stats:

  • About 91 million people over the age of 16 swim in oceans, lakes, and rivers each year in the United States.
  • More than half of fatal and nonfatal drownings among those 15 years and older occurred in natural water settings, including lakes, rivers and oceans.
  • In the U.S. alone, there are 10.4 million residential pools and 309,000 public swimming facilities (according to the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals).
  • Among children ages 1 to 4, most drownings occur in home swimming pools.

Cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) involves performing cycles of chest compressions and providing rescue breaths. For an unconscious person who is not breathing, a rescuer providing quality chest compressions does the work of the heart and lungs, circulating oxygen-rich blood to the brain, keeping vital organs alive and preserving brain function.

Anyone can perform CPR, however with training, potential rescuers are better prepared, more confident and more efficient at providing high-quality CPR.

Hands-only CPR:
Three easy steps to remember when performing hands-only CPR.

Ensure the scene is safe and call 911

Shout “Are you okay?” If unresponsive, immediately begin CPR

Press the heel of one hand on the chest, and place your other hand on top of the first and begin compressions pushing hard and fast at the rate of 100 to 120 beats per minute

Think “Staying Alive, Imperial March (Darth Vader’s theme song), Sweet Home Alabama and Dancing Queen. All have a rhythm of 100 beats per minute.

Water Safety & Drowning Prevention

Learn to Swim
1. Make certain everyone in your family know how to swim well.
2. Enroll young children in formal swimming lessons as soon as age-appropriate.

1. Teach children to ask for permission to go near water.
2. Have young or inexperienced swimmers wear life jackets.
3. Use the buddy system, never let anyone swim alone.

Prevent Unsupervised Access to the Water
1. Ensure that pool barriers enclose the entire pool area, are at least 4-feet high with gates that are self-closing, self-latching and open outward, and away from the pool.
2. Remove access to above-ground pools such as ladders and outdoor furniture when pool is not in use.

Maintain Close Supervision
1. Maintain a constant watchful eye on kids, even if a lifeguard is present.
2. Stay within arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions when you are supervising.


13-Year-Old YouTube Star Dies from Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Caleb Logan

On October 1st, a seemingly healthy 13-year-old boy, Caleb, died from an undiagnosed heart condition that led to Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). His unexpected passing has garnered mass media attention due to his internet fame status and the cause of his death. Continue reading 13-Year-Old YouTube Star Dies from Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Fighting Sudden Cardiac Arrest for Washington’s Youth

Washington SCA Fight

Two mothers in Washington State are spearheading efforts to raise awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest and the need for AEDs throughout Washington school districts. Darla Varrenti, lost her 16-year-old son, Nick to Sudden Cardiac Arrest in 2004 after he played in a football game. Varrenti is the director of the Nick of Time Foundation that works to spread awareness for the #1 cause of death among young athletes. The foundation has educated hundreds of schools about the condition and provides youth heart screenings and training for students in CPR. Continue reading Fighting Sudden Cardiac Arrest for Washington’s Youth

AED Save: 13-Year-Old Boy Saved During Basketball Practice

13-Year-Old Seth O'Neal is on the sidelines this basketball season after his coaches saved his life with one of the school's AEDs in December.
13-Year-Old Seth is on the sidelines this basketball season, but hopes to return to the court next year.

Two fast-acting coaches saved the life of a 13-year-old boy, Seth O’Neill, at Cerro Gordo Elementary School in Illinois in December. During basketball practice, the teen was doing conditioning running when he suddenly appeared to trip and fall face-first to the gym floor. As his coaches rushed over to him, they saw his face turning blue and he had no pulse. Continue reading AED Save: 13-Year-Old Boy Saved During Basketball Practice