Helping Students Survive Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Helping Students Survive Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Right now, millions of​ students across the​ country are participating in​ physical activities at​ their schools - a​ basketball or​ soccer game, football and​ cheerleading practice or​ gym class. What if​ one of​ them had a​ life-threatening cardiac emergency? Would the​ school be prepared?

Sudden cardiac arrest strikes more than 340,000 Americans each year, including children and​ teens, usually without warning. Heart conditions tend to​ go undetected and​ often manifest themselves during physical activity. in​ the​ event of​ a​ cardiac arrest, a​ quick response and​ the​ early use of​ an​ automated external defibrillator (AED) are critical to​ improving the​ chances of​ survival.

According to​ the​ American Heart Association, early use of​ AEDs - portable devices that analyze the​ heart's rhythm and​ deliver an​ electric shock to​ reestablish a​ normal heartbeat -could raise the​ chance of​ survival by 20 percent or​ more.

"Nearly 95 percent of​ cardiac arrest victims die - usually because defibrillation occurs too late," said Dr. Vincent Mosesso Jr. of​ the​ National Center for​ Early Defibrillation based at​ the​ University of​ Pittsburgh. "Every minute that passes before returning the​ heart to​ a​ normal rhythm decreases the​ chance of​ survival by 10 percent. Patients who receive CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation] and​ a​ defibrillator shock within three minutes of​ going into sudden cardiac arrest have the​ best odds of​ survival."

Unfortunately, many schools aren't equipped with AEDs.

For that reason, Duracell and​ Zoll Medical Corp. have teamed up to​ help inform parents and​ educators about the​ importance of​ being prepared for​ these critical situations.

"Through this campaign, we want to​ work with communities across the​ country to​ provide their schools with the​ tools necessary to​ help save lives," said Kara Salzillo, manager of​ brand communications for​ Duracell.

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