Automated External Defibrillators in Schools
- Sherrid MV, Aagaard P, Serrato S, et al.
- State Requirements for Automated External Defibrillators in American Schools: Framing the Debate About Legislative Action. J Am Coll Cardiol 2017;69:1735-1743.
The following are 10 points to remember from this article dealing with the importance of universal placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in schools:
- Estimates of the incidence of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in school-age individuals range from 2.1-6.3/100,000 per year.
- Two in fifty high schools in the United States can expect a SCA event each year.
- The hospital survival rate of students after SCA in schools with AEDs is approximately 70%, compared with only approximately 8% in the overall population of school-age children.
- Only 17 of 50 states (34%) have some type of legislation dealing with AEDs in schools, most commonly a requirement for AEDs in public grade schools or in both public grade schools and colleges.
- Nine of these seventeen states provide funding for the AEDs.
- The American Heart Association provides no specific guidance or recommendations on the placement of AEDs in schools.
- The placement of AEDs in schools should be accompanied by training of the staff.
- A simulator study has demonstrated that students without prior training can accurately employ an AED as directed by prompts from the AED.
- All states have Good Samaritan laws that protect bystanders who use an AED to resuscitate a victim of SCA.
- The main impediment to the universal placement of AEDs in schools is cost. However, the cost of two AEDs plus a training program is approximately $3,300 per school, which is much lower than the annual expenditures of $11,000-12,000 per student in the United States.
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