Automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, are now mandatory requirements in schools and athletic events in Texas, as well as 13 other states across the U.S. The emergency medical devices are designed to deliver an electrical shock to the heart and restore a healthy heart rhythm in people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. The law dictates a minimum of one AED must be kept on every elementary, junior high, and high school campus in Katy. They must also be on-hand at all school contests or sports events.
The value of AED machines
AEDs save the lives of 1,700 Americans across the country each year, a study by the American Heart Association found. Most cases of cardiac arrest occur outside hospitals — 350,000 each year in total. The study found that when bystanders use AED devices to shock the patient prior to the arrival of emergency responders, survival rates jump from 43% to 66.5%. In contrast, 70% of cardiac arrest patients either die or survive with impaired brain function when bystanders don’t use AEDs. The lifesaving potential of these devices stress how important it is for schools, organizations, and individuals to keep an AED value package within easy reach. These packages come with a convenient carry case and instructions on how to use the device.
Saving lives at school
This law has already helped save the life of a New Jersey teen. Lynette Messina, head coach of the Garfield High School Boilermakers, was supervising an after-school practice last fall when Gabriela Koziol, a freshman new to the team, suddenly collapsed. Messina instructed her assistant to run and grab the AED. “I started CPR, and he called 911,” Messina told the press. Only one shock from the defibrillator was required to restart Gabby’s heart. “With the application of the shock, it put the heart back into normal rhythm which restored normal output of the heart and normal perfusion and Gabby woke up almost immediately,” explained Barry Love, MD at Children’s Heart Center, Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital.
If the situation arises, an AED could similarly help a teen in Katy experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. Katy students are also required to learn how to perform CPR — an education required in 38 states in total. In Texas, PE teachers, coaches, student trainers, cheerleader sponsors, nurses, and band directors must be currently certified in both CPR and AED.
It’s hoped these new laws go a long way to protect heart health and save lives in Katy. By taking the extra steps to ensure that proper training is delivered to school teachers, coaches, and students, people in Katy can be safer when it comes to heart health.