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Is there a defibrillator in your child’s school? Do you know its purpose? A defibrillator (AED) is an automated external defibrillator which can help victims of sudden cardiac arrest. I personally remember these being installed in my high school. Through physical education class, I took CPR and was also trained how to use these life-saving machines. What is great about AED’s is that they are automated- they prompt users how to use it.
Those who are uncomfortable with the thought of these automated machines in their child’s school claim an “average joe” may not be able to use them. What if someone misdiagnoses a person and uses the machine and kills them? What if a prankster gets a hold of it? Would it actually help when the paramedics will be there in a minute anyways?
The Red Cross of Illinois states that sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the United States and it can happen to anyone, of any age, and without symptoms. The American Heart Association recommends a response time of three to five minutes and for every minute the heart goes without defibrillation, the chance of survival goes down 10%. Do you think the paramedics will have that quick of a response? Will they get there within ten minutes? After ten minutes of the heart stopping beating, chances of survival are rare.
There have been children who have died of sudden cardiac arrest in schools- without symptoms-without warning. Some areas are actually requiring a school defibrillator and in other places that people gather. More and more studies are coming out that defibrillators are needed in schools, such as the Emergency Medical Services for Children Research Center and Cardiac Science.
I know, that when my children reach school age, I will want to find out if there is a defibrillator located close by. And if one day it needs to be used on one of my family members? I trust the research, the machine and will kiss the “average joe” behind it.
but all thoughts are my own.