Project ADAM Tennessee
AED Training in East Tennessee Schools
Project ADAM East Tennessee provides schools with information, materials,
training and support in the management of public access to defibrillation
(PAD) programs. Supported by East Tennessee Children's Hospital since
2011, the placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in area
schools is a priority. In addition to these life-saving devices, Project
ADAM East Tennessee helps schools coordinate and train emergency response
teams, assists with practice drills, and ensures staff and community awareness.
Project ADAM is a not-for-profit national resource for implementing PADs
and works towards the eradication of sudden cardiac death in children
through research, education and prevention initiatives. As an affiliate
of the national Project ADAM organization, our schools benefit from sharing
best practices, medical developments and regional news.
What is an AED and why do we need them?
Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are lightweight, portable devices
which deliver an electric shock to the heart if needed. When the heart
is in sudden cardiac arrest, a shock delivered to the heart can halt an
abnormal, ineffective rhythm and enable the heart to return to a normal
rhythm. A shock delivered within 3-5 minutes can save a life and for every
minute that passes after, survival rates drop by 10%.
It is estimated that a substantial percentage of our population are inside
our schools on any given day. Defibrillators will not only benefit children,
but the many adults who work and volunteer in our schools. Studies strongly
support the use of CPR and AEDs in the event of sudden cardiac arrest;
when school teams are trained in appropriate recognition and response,
survival rates soar.
An AED will NOT hurt a victim and it is always better to do CPR and use
an AED on someone who does not need it than to not do it on someone who does.
What causes sudden cardiac arrest?
Sudden cardiac arrest often occurs in active people with no history of
heart conditions. It is the number one cause of death in Americans and
affects 500-1000 children each day. Common causes may be structural heart
defects (these are conditions people are born with and may not know they
have), electrical problems (these may be related to illness or infections
which affect the heart), or situational causes (a sudden blow to the chest,
certain chemicals, drugs, and medications).
What are warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest?
- Fainting during exercise
- Unusual shortness of breath
- Profuse sweating
- Chest pain during exercise
- Seizure-like activity
Sudden cardiac arrest may have no warning signs at all. If someone becomes
unresponsive and is not breathing normally, assume they are in sudden
cardiac arrest and act quickly!
Project ADAM Tennessee Resources
Project ADAM heart safe schools are provided with materials and support
as they work through criteria leading to heart safe status. Team members
and school staffs will be offered CPR/AED training, learn signs of sudden
cardiac arrest, and employ proper maintenance of equipment. School nurses,
school health coordinators, coaches and administrators may find these
PowerPoint presentation and
notes to use as a guide for required school staff awareness.
Heart Safe Schools training videos describe Sudden Cardiac Arrest and a proper school plan and response.
The Project ADAM HeartSafe School Implementation Checklist is available here.
Project ADAM East Tennessee has provided more than 300 AEDs to schools
in our area, helping ensure all public schools are now equipped. Tennessee
state law requires schools with AEDs to provide a protocol for the maintenance
of equipment and a school response, the establishment of a response team,
annual staff awareness training and a practice drill.
Project ADAM support is provided at no cost to schools by East Tennessee
Children's Hospital. If your school would like more information about
becoming heart safe, please contact Becky Miller, Project ADAM Tennessee
firstname.lastname@example.org or 865-541-8137.