South designated

Students, visitors and employees of South Lincoln School now have a better chance of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) because of a new Cardiac Emergency Response Plan surrounding the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).

This Cardiac Emergency Response Plan was implemented through a partnership with Project ADAM by training staff and students to recognize a cardiac arrest and respond appropriately.

“We want to be sure that we can effectively respond to any medical emergency that occurs on our campus,” said Julie Williams, RN, and school nurse.

In the United States, SCA affects more than 350,000 people annually and is the leading cause of death each year. While most SCA deaths occur in adults, SCA is also the leading cause of death in young athletes and can also strike children participating in normal school or sports activity.

Sudden cardiac arrest is the abrupt, unexpected loss of heart function, usually resulting from an electrical problem within the heart. When this happens, the heart stops beating and blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. When this occurs, the victim collapses and loses consciousness. SCA most often results in death if not treated within minutes. Defibrillation, which delivers an electric shock to the heart, is the only known treatment to stop this chaotic electrical activity within the heart. Each minute defibrillation is delayed, the victim’s chances of survival decreases by 10 percent.

AEDs are safe and easy to use, making it possible for non-medical personnel to be trained to provide rapid defibrillation for victims of all ages. The American Heart Association, Project ADAM and OSHA recommend that any facility in which large groups of people congregate should establish a CPR and AED program.

Monroe Carell Jr Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt has partnered with Project ADAM to begin supporting Middle Tennessee schools and community centers. The goal is for every school in Middle Tennessee to achieve the Heart Safe designation. This designation indicates to the public that their school staff is trained and prepared to respond to a cardiac emergency.

“Project ADAM is a national, non-profit organization committed to saving lives through advocacy, education, preparedness and collaboration to prevent sudden cardiac death. Our affiliate programs improve the cardiac chain of survival in schools and communities in memory of Adam Lemel, a 17-year-old Whitefish Bay, Wis., high school student who collapsed and died while playing basketball at school,” said Angel Carter, RN, BSN, Project ADAM Middle Tennessee, Monroe Carell Jr Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

For more information about Project ADAM Middle Tennessee and how to achieve the Heart Safe designation at your school or community center, please contact Angel Carter at 2200 Children’s Way,

Nashville, TN 37232; email angel.carter@vanderbilt.edu; or call 615-343-4984.

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