Heart Research

Heart Research November -0001

Study Shows Importance of AEDs in Schools

A study published in Circulation today demonstrates that school based automated external defibrillators (AEDs) provide high survival rates for both students and non students suffering sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) on school premises.
The study by Jonathan Drezner and colleagues, from the University of Washington, (Seattle, USA) surveyed a cohort of US high schools that had installed at least one AED on site. Results show that cases of SCA were reported by 36 out of 1710 schools (2.1%), with cases including both students and adults, and that 34 cases received bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation and 30 (83%) received AED. Altogether 23 of the victims (64%) survived to hospital discharge.

Commenting on the study, Professor Josep Brugada, spokesperson of the European Society of Cardiology, said: "Sudden cardiac death in a young population is a dramatic situation that can be beaten if appropriate preparation has been done. Providing high schools with external automatic defibrillators and appropriate training has proven to be tremendously effective in saving an important number of lives. The extremely high rate of survival in this setting shows that a lot can be done to beat sudden death."

The survey, he added, underlines the importance of the "BEAT IT!" campaign, launched by the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) of the ESC and the Lion's Club International at the EUROPACE 2009 Congress in Berlin, Germany, (21-24 June). "Beat It!" aims to cut the incidence of sudden cardiac death by public education and the greater availability of portable electronic defibrillators able to diagnose and treat the potentially life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. "It is the hope that through these activities thousands of additional lives can be saved each year," said Professor Dietrich Andresen, who was the local host of EUROPACE 2009.

The European Society of Cardiology (ESC):
The ESC represents nearly 53,000 cardiology professionals across Europe and the Mediterranean. Its mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe.

The ESC achieves this through a variety of scientific and educational activities including the coordination of: clinical practice guidelines, education courses and initiatives, pan-European surveys on specific disease areas and the ESC Annual Congress, the largest medical meeting in Europe. The ESC also works closely with the European Commission and WHO to improve health policy in the EU.

The ESC comprises 3 Councils, 5 Associations, 19 Working Groups, 50 National Cardiac Societies and an ESC Fellowship Community (Fellow, FESC; Nurse Fellow, NFESC). For more information on ESC Initiatives, Congresses and Constituent Bodies see www.escardio.org.

European Society of Cardiology, The European Heart House 2035 Route des Colles, B.P. 179 - Les Templiers, Sophia Antipolis F-06903 France

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