Recently there was a segment on the TODAY show about a young girl in Texas who was saved by the quick thinking of her teachers and the automated external defibrillator (AED) in the school. I encourage you to watch this interview with her parents about the rescue, caught on camera.
This story made me immediately think of the blog post I published back in the spring about the importance of acting under pressure. I applaud the teachers who were properly trained to act and who in the heat of the moment acted appropriately. They called 911, started CPR and applied the AED. This young girl is alive today because of their quick actions. This is a heart-warming story and reminds us why we do what we do.
As a refresher course and in recognition that October is sudden cardiac awareness month, let’s review the proper steps again. When someone goes into cardiac arrest, what appears to be a seizure can be the result of lack of blood flow and oxygen to the brain. During this time, it always is better to do something than nothing. In this setting, tell someone to call 911 immediately, start CPR and apply an AED. The AED will determine if a shockable rhythm is present. It will not shock someone who does not need to be shocked.
Learn more about how Project ADAM can help your child’s school get the CPR training and AEDs it needs. You could help save a life.
~ Stuart Berger, MD; medical director of Herma Heart Center at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin; professor and chief of Pediatric Cardiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin; and medical director of Project ADAM
Herma Heart Center at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is one of the nation’s top programs for medical and surgical treatment of congenital heart defects and heart disease in children.