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GISD SCHOOLS RECEIVE “HEART SAFE” DESIGNATION
June 27, 2018
“Heart Safe School” banners are now displayed at all Granbury ISD schools, following the school district’s completion of requirements through the Project ADAM program during Spring 2018.
The program was established to create awareness about the signs and symptoms of Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD). The Heart Safe School designation is given to schools upon successful implementation of a quality Sudden Cardiac Arrest program of awareness, screening, training and effective emergency response to promote a Heart Safe environment for all students, visitors, faculty and staff.
Leading the GISD effort was Kim McLeod, RN, the GISD lead nurse based at Oak Woods School. The school district participated in the initiative following a presentation to the Community Schools Health Advisory Council.
National statistics indicate that more than 350,000 children and adults in the United States die from Sudden Cardiac Arrest every year – most of them outside of the hospital.
“Through our cooperative efforts with Project ADAM Texas at Cook Children’s Heart Center, we have joined hundreds of schools throughout the state and beyond in preparing our school for a life-threatening emergency,” McLeod said. “This program enables us to offer any person who may experience a Sudden Cardiac Arrest the best chance for survival.”
GISD maintains Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) at all campuses stored in wall cabinets. When the cabinet doors are opened, a loud alarm will sound. This alerts everyone that there is a potential emergency. The AEDs are designed to work effectively unless they are tampered with. Additionally, the AED will not shock a person unless it detects a shockable rhythm (ventricular fibrillation).
GISD staff members have been trained to assist with an emergency during regular school hours. After school hours, this is a Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) program.
“If you suspect someone is experiencing a Sudden Cardiac Arrest, please feel free to use the equipment at our school,” said McLeod. “Good Samaritan laws protect the layperson in a life-saving attempt, although we recommend becoming trained in CPR/AED use as an investment in your health and the health of others. Our local EMS is aware of our policies and procedures for the program, and we have been provided medical oversight by Dr. Shannon Watts.”
If 9-1-1 is called during school hours for an unresponsive person, the Emergency Medical Team will initiate the AED code. If 9-1-1 is called after school hours, procedures are in place for after school activities. If the AED is used, individuals are encouraged to contact Project ADAM Texas coordinator at (682) 885-6755 to follow up and replace materials used in the resuscitation effort.
Project ADAM is a national, non-profit organization committed to saving lives through advocacy, education, preparedness and collaboration to prevent Sudden Cardiac Death. Focused prevention training and education ensures schools and communities are not only equipped but trained in prevention.
The organization was founded in 1999 after the death of Adam Lemel, a 17-year-old Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, high school student who collapsed and died while playing basketball. Adam suffered a Sudden Cardiac Arrest, in which ventricular fibrillation occurred, a condition in which the ventricles cannot pump blood into the body. An AED could have saved his life.
Adam's parents, Patty Lemel-Clanton and Joe Lemel, collaborated with Children's Hospital of Wisconsin’s Herma Heart Institute to create this program in Adam's memory.
The district’s designation was previously announced during a special presentation at the GISD school board meeting in March.
Photo courtesy of Sarah Mendoza Thieroff/Cook Children’s Heart Center