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Project ADAM

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 materials helpful:

Click here to download the Project ADAM Tennessee information packet or view the document in your browser.

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 coordinator, at rmiller@etch.com or 865-541-8137.