AEDs + CPR = Lives Saved

The American Heart Association supports public access to AEDs and has fought to get them in schools across the country. Administering CPR/AED can more than double a victim’s chance of survival. This is a video we did to support the American Heart Association.

AED Petition Now Mentor Alison Ellison: THANKS!!!

Hi all, I just wanted to send one more save story for the week.  The survivor was not a student, but it was a school nurse (among others) who saved him.  See story below…I hope you all have a great weekend!  Alison

I am a Forsyth County School Nurse that happened to be at the right place at the right time Monday, August 29, 2011. I play on a coed softball team for my church at Al Bishop Park in Marietta, Ga and Monday night before our game the unexpected happened. I had arrived to the park and was walking towards the fields  when a player fell to the ground running for a fly ball. I walk pass the field and see other players gather around the player and start calling out for help. I (literally) climb over the fence and start running towards the crowd gathering in the outfield. The player that had fell to the ground was a 41 year old male with a family history of heart attacks. Amidst the crowd of people and chaos, I knelt to the ground, checked for a pulse, and could not find a pulse. I pull up the man’s shirt and start giving compressions, while my Dad, a former EMT, gave breaths. After the second set of compressions, someone had walked up with the AED from the concession stand at the park. With the help of my sister, we open up the AED, I place the pads on the man’s chest. After the AED analyzed the heart rhythm it started blinking “shock advised”. After yelling for everyone to stand back, I press the button on the AED  and the shock was successfully administered. An EMT that had been in the crowd started doing compressions again and about that that time the EMS arrived and we had found a pulse. Thankfully, this story has a good ending. The EMS stabilized him, rushed him to Cobb General Hospital where he was admitted to the ICU. I later learned that he had a heart cath and three blockages were found and that he will be transferred to Kennestone Hospital with possible options of heart surgery.

All I kept thinking after it was all said and done was how thankful I was the ballpark had an AED and that the man had survived!!
(The amazing thing is that this is the second save by a school staff member at this county park in the last 3 years!  The last rescuer was a music teacher who had learned CPR/AED at his school.  He is now an instructor at his own school and in the community.)

Alison Ellison BSN, NCSN
Project S.A.V.E. Coordinator
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Don’t Be Complacent About Using an AED!

Harvard Medical School Adviser: Using an automated external defibrillatorJun 5, 2011

QUESTION: I often see defibrillator boxes on the walls in public places around my town, from the supermarket to the library. Each time I do, I wonder who actually knows how to use such a thing and whether I would be capable of using one if the need arose. How hard are they to use, and should people learn ahead of time? ANSWER: Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are the best — and often last — hope for people who collapse because their hearts have lapsed into a fast, irregular and deadly heartbeat known as ventricular fibrillation. These shock-delivering devices are becoming a standard fixture in airports, malls, casinos and other public places. They are easy to use, and the directions printed on them are so clear and straightforward that even schoolchildren can learn to use them. But your questions and hesitation about AEDs are very common. In fact, when 1,000 adults were asked if they would use a nearby defibrillator to revive a person who had collapsed in a public place, more than half answered no. To gauge the readiness of the most likely rescuers — untrained bystanders — Dutch researchers surveyed passersby in Centraal Station, a busy rail station in downtown Amsterdam. Each interview was conducted within 10 feet of one of the five AEDs prominently displayed in the station. More than half of those who took part in the survey could not identify the glass-fronted box on the wall as an emergency defibrillator. And only 47% said they would use the AED in an emergency. The most common reasons for declining to use the device were not knowing how it works (69%) and worries about hurting the victim (14%). There are two major types of cardiac emergencies. A heart attack is the slower-moving type, caused by a clot and usually causing chest pains that can last for hours. The second type, called a cardiac arrest, strikes so fast that there’s little or no time to call for help. Unless two specific treatments — cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and an electric shock to the heart — are begun, the chances of surviving or of living without permanent brain damage dwindle with each passing minute. The chances of surviving a cardiac arrest fall about 10% for each minute the heart stays in ventricular fibrillation. Shock the heart back into a normal rhythm within two minutes, and the victim has an 80% chance of surviving. Most automated external defibrillators use the same basic steps. And most have a gentle but authoritative computerized voice that gives the user easy-to-follow instructions. Don’t let lack of knowledge keep you from saving a life. Trying is better than doing nothing. Have a question? Send it to  Martha Lopez-AndersonChair, Board of Directors

Why aren’t AEDs Being Used in Emergencies?

POSTED: Monday, May 16, 2011UPDATED: 6:03 pm EDT May 16, 2011

Automated external defibrillators or AEDs are becoming a common sight in schools, gyms and businesses. Even local elementary school children have been trained to run and grab the device in an emergency. But experts said too often these lifesaving devices are not being used when an emergency happens. Puran Raber’s 16-year-old son Ian’s heart stopped after he was struck in the chest by a baseball at Avondale High School. The school has two AEDs, but neither was brought to the scene or used to restart Ian’s heart. “I walked through the gym doors, and I saw him laying on the floor. And EMS was working on him, and I ran over and I looked at him and I just started crying,” said Raber. “I said ‘Do you have a pulse?’ And they said, ‘No we don’t.'” Paramedics were eventually able to restart Ian’s heart, but his parents wonder if he would have had an easier recovery if an AED had been used immediately or if someone had performed CPR. “That morning, if anyone had gotten that defibrillator and brought it to Ian’s side, then maybe somebody would have used it. But it never entered anybody’s mind to go get it,” said Raber. Raber’s story highlights a basic flaw in the AED system — they’re only effective if a bystander is willing and able to use them. “AEDs don’t save lives. People using an AED save lives,” said Dr. Robert Swor, the director of Emergency Research at Beaumont Hospital. Swor said there a two sets of problems involving AED use. “One is physically where is the device? Do people know where it is? Is it locked up? And then there’s the other problem where cardiac arrest is a scary situation, and certainly they’re confusing for people,” said Swor. Dr. Frank McGeorge reported in an emergency, some people simply freeze up and don’t act. Others are afraid of hurting someone by doing CPR or using an AED, and the majority may not recognize that someone needs an AED. There are no firm statistics on how often an AED goes unused in an emergency, but researchers have studied similar situations involving CPR. Swor’s research found when bystanders trained in CPR witnessed someone in cardiac arrest, only 35 percent actually did CPR. The majority, 65 percent, did not perform CPR. McGeorge said many people don’t realize an AED won’t deliver a shock unless it’s needed, so there’s no need to be concerned about hurting someone accidentally. Swor said choosing not to use an AED dramatically reduces someone’s chance of surviving cardiac arrest. “If you get defibrillated after a cardiac arrest in a public place, your chance of survival is about 40 percent. Usually 5 to 10 percent of people survive a cardiac arrest overall. So, they’re dramatic in their ability to improve survival,” said Swor. Experts said it’s crucial for facilities that have an AED to make sure several people are trained to use the device and that training is repeated on a regular basis. Parents and employees need to ask where the defibrillators are, how many people have been trained and how often that training is being repeated. Avondale Schools Superintendent George Heitsch told Local 4 they are thankful Ian is back in school and doing well. Heitsch said because of Ian’s accident, the district plans to increase AED training to include annual refresher classes districtwide at the beginning of each school year. Avondale High School will also soon be getting a third defibrillator. “What we really need people to do is act,” said Swor. “Call 911 and start doing CPR. And if there’s a defibrillator available, get it.” Raber is now working with her children’s schools to make sure what happened after Ian’s accident never happens again. “I thank God every single night that he gave him back to us,” said Raber.

TWO More Reasons For AEDs In Schools!

Another save for New York schools! J    Thanks to Karen Acompora for sharing. Quick thinking at Comsewogue:

Comsewogue coaches Rick Miekley and Justin Seifert likely saved the life of softball player Hope Reindl, 17, after the teen collapsed during an after-school intramural basketball game, Newsday reported. Miekley immediately came to her aid and Seifert had a student retrieve a portable defibrillator. Doctors told Reindl’s family she had suffered an arrhythmia. She was listed in good condition Thursday night at Stony Brook University Medical Center, the paper reported. Both coaches are certified in CPR and defibrillator use; Miekley also is a former athletic trainer for Stony Brook University and a former CPR instructor. “They never hesitated,” Principal Joseph Coniglione said. “It is always about the kids for them and when they saw that, it was as if it was one of their own.”

Cheerleaders are victims of sudden cardiac arrest too. Please don’t be complacent whaen it comes to saving lives!

I sure hope that doctors have done a complete cardiac workup and not just focused on “sports-induced asthma”

Student, 16, survives cardiac arrest at North Hunterdon High Published: Wednesday, April 06, 2011, 10:48 AM     Updated: Wednesday, April 06, 2011, 10:53 AMBy Hunterdon County Democrat Hunterdon County Democrat  CLINTON TWP. —

A 16-year-old girl collapsed in cardiac arrest during cheerleader tryouts at North Hunterdon High School on Tuesday night and was flown to Morristown Memorial Hospital after receiving CPR from police, school staff and a parent.  As part of tryouts, the girls were jogging through the hallways of the school when the junior collapsed in a second-floor hallway and went into a seizure, Clinton Township police said. Other girls reported noticing that she was experiencing shortness of breath before she collapsed. She had no pulse and looked blue when Patrolman John Tiger arrived. School staff gave her a shock from an automated external defibrillator and Tiger gave her chest compressions while Kelly Strauss, the mother of another girl at the tryouts, performed rescue breathing, police said. After three cycles of CPR, the girl started to breathe and the color came back to her face, police said. She was flown by the State Police Northstar helicopter, which had landed at the school around 7:15 p.m., to Morristown. She was “awake and doing OK” at the hospital this morning, according to school spokeswoman Maren Smagala. The victim’s mother told police that her daughter suffers from sports-induced asthma, which may have caused the attack. Clinton Rescue Squad and Hunterdon Medical Center paramedics also responded to the 9-1-1 call. Martha Lopez-AndersonChair, Board of Directors

Another Reason For Defibrillators in Schools!

Teen Saved By DefibrillatorFamily Raises Awareness Of DefibrillatorsCamila Bastidas

 – 23ABC North County ReporterPOSTED: 4:11 pm PDT June 24, 2011UPDATED: 4:49 pm PDT June 24, 2011 MCFARLAND, Calif. —

 March 14 was like any other day to Brooks Beler. He woke up and went to school, but it was a fateful event in his last class that perhaps changed his life forever. “I sat down in class and stood up and fell over. It was really scary, and I just remember waking up in the hospital” said Brooks. Thirteen-year old Brook went into a sudden cardiac arrest in the middle of class. He suffers from cardiomyopathy, a condition that affects the heart muscles and that day his heart to stop beating. Teachers at his school in Montana quickly began performing CPR and ran immediately to get the defibrillator. “They were on their way to get the defibrillator when the Fire Department came and used their defibrillator. They shocked him twice, and he came back after two shocks” said Brooks’ mother, Maggie Beler. Brooks says he is alive today thanks to a defibrillator, and now he is making it his mission to raise awareness about this machine that could help save lives. “You should really consider getting these because it’s very useful and it saves lives. I’m a prime example of one” said Beler. McFarland school district officials say defibrillators are expensive and putting one in every school is something the district can’t afford. “We have looked into them, but with the current budget situation, we don’t have the resources to a acquire them at this time,” said David Lopez with the McFarland School District. But Beler says you can never put a price on a life, especially when it comes to kids. “People say its too costly, but coming from my heart, your child is more important than the price of a defibrillator. So get one because its priceless,” said Beler. Defibrillators can range anywhere from $1,500 to about $2,500. The McFarland School District says it is currently looking into grants to make them available at schools.