Target: U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan
Goal: Require training in sudden cardiac arrest action plans and the use of automatic external defibrillators to prevent death in schools
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) claims the lives of more than 350,000 lives per year, and is the leading cause of death in the United States. Nearly 4,000 of these deaths are young people, and 80% of them could have been prevented with the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Please sign this petition and urge the U.S. Secretary of Education to mandate proper training, action plans, and accessible AEDs in all schools to prevent sudden cardiac arrest and death.
Cases of sudden cardiac arrest vary in their warning signs and outcomes. However, the cause of death is the body’s reaction to the heart beating abnormally and chaotically out of control. The abnormal heart beat rhythm, known as ventricular fibrillation, is only effectively treated with an electrical shock delivered by a defibrillator. This brief electrical pulse halts the chaotic activity of the heart, giving it a chance to start beating again with a normal rhythm. A shock delivered by an AED within 3-5 minutes may save the person’s life, however survival rates decrease by 10 percent with each minute of delay.
AED’s are easy to use and increase survival rates up to 74 percent in places that have successfully implemented AED action plans and proper training. SCA commonly occurs when people are exerting themselves during sports and other activities. In order to successfully plan for SCA episodes, the Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes Foundation (SADS) recommends that every child have a risk assessment history at regular intervals, and those with a SADS condition or SADS diagnosis have an individualized care plan and AED program in place. Every school should have a medical emergency response plan which includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and AED training. All schools must have at least one AED on site.
Please sign this petition and demand that these simple, yet life saving action plans and equipment be mandated for all school institutions in order to prevent SCA deaths.
Dear Secretary Duncan,
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) claims the lives of more than 350,000 Americans each year and is the leading cause of death in the United States. Nearly 4,000 of these deaths are young people, and 80% of them could have been prevented with automatic external defibrillators (AEDs). SCA can strike at any time and it is necessary that our educational institutions be trained and equipped to prevent deaths from the chaotic arrhythmias.
I am writing to ask that you mandate proper training and AED accessibility in all U.S. schools. According to the Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes Foundation (SADS), survival rates of up to 74 percent have been achieved in places that have successfully implemented AED programs. A shock delivered by an AED within 3-5 minutes may save these lives, however survival rates decrease by 10 percent with each minute of delay. The average time it takes emergency crews to arrive is between 8-12 minutes, giving students, staff, and visitors a very minimal chance at survival.
AEDs are easy to use and action plans are easy to implement and amend at staff gatherings. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), deaths from SCA increased 10 percent (from 2,719 in 1989 to 3,000 in 1996) in people between the ages of 15 and 34. In young women, the death rate from SCA increased 30 percent. As the incident of preventable SCA deaths continue to rise it is imperative that schools do their part to plan and prevent unnecessary death while at school.
Please implement mandatory SCA and AED training and accessible equipment requirements for U.S. schools.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: thedefibcentre.co.uk via Yahoo