AHA releases policy statement on cardiac emergency response for children
Currently, just four states require schools to have plans set in case of students having cardiac arrest. This is a serious concern because there are approximately 7,000 children who are 18 years or younger that experience cardiac arrest. All of these children have cardiac arrest outside of a hospital; statistics show they face survival rates below 10 percent.
This is why the AHA believes it is crucial for schools to have emergency response plans for when their students experience cardiac arrest.
“A cardiac emergency response plan can increase cardiac arrest survival rates by 50 percent or more by enabling a trained lay-responder team to take action,” Kathleen Rose, registered nurse, AHA volunteer and co-chair of the working group that authored the paper, said.
The policy statement encourages leaders to enact state laws that require K-12 schools to apply cardiac emergency response plans (CERPs).
“Every minute counts in cardiac arrest,” Dr. Monica Goble, AHA volunteer and pediatric cardiologist at the University of Michigan Congenital Heart Center, said. “The safety of students, school staff and visitors will only be enhanced by school teams that feel empowered to administer lifesaving care until EMS arrives.”