MONDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) --School-based programs that
teach CPR and the proper use of automated external defibrillators
(AED) boost survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest, new research
A team led by Dr. Stuart Berger, a professor of pediatrics at
the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, says that it has
found evidence of success in recent efforts to bring cardiac
emergency skills to school settings, which are the weekday stomping
ground for fully one-fifth of the American population (children and
Berger and his colleagues are set to report their findings
Monday at the American Heart Association's annual meeting in
The team focused on two CPR-AED programs: "Project ADAM" in
Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and "Project SAVE" in Georgia.
Both programs are designed to educate students and staff about
the signs and symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest, as well as
effective treatment. The students learn how to resuscitate someone
through manual chest compressions (CPR) and how to use an AED to
give people in cardiac arrest an electric shock designed to jolt
their heart back into a normal rhythm and possibly save their
lives. Besides teaching students and staff these emergency
procedures, such programs require drafting an emergency response
plan in each school; creating and training a first-responder team;
buying and maintaining an AED; and establishing emergency medical
Overall, the efforts seemed to have saved lives. Although 95
percent of people with cardiac arrest generally die before reaching
the hospital, according to the American Heart Association, the
researchers noted that among the 850 participating schools in
Wisconsin, survival rates were 36 percent in cases where an AED was
In Pennsylvania, six adults and five children or adolescents
have survived sudden cardiac arrest with assistance provided via
that state's CPR-AED program.
And in Georgia, where a local program distributed CPR-AED
information to all of the states 180 schools, 45 percent of the
nearly 50 students and adults who suffered sudden cardiac arrest
between 2004 and 2010 survived the experience.
Experts noted that research presented at meeting isn't subjected
to the same type of scrutiny given to research published in
peer-reviewed journals, but the researchers noted the results
For more on CPR, visit the
American Heart Association.
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