News – Is your school prepared?

9 Mar

Northwest IN -The tragic death of Fennville HS star Wes Leonard should have ALL athletic departments, coaches and parents throughout the country asking “Is my school prepared to properly handle this type of situation?”

In the multiplicity of stories surrounding the death of Michigan high school basketball star Wes Leonard, one acronym has stood out, CPR.

However, two have been curiously absent, AED and ATC.

CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the process of chest compressions and rescue breathing that is so critical in the moments after someone collapses from cardiac arrest.

However, without being followed up as soon as possible, preferably within five minutes and no more than 10, by a powerful electrical jolt from an AED (automated external defibrillator), CPR is of little use.

Most high schools in Michigan (and Indiana and Illinois) have an AED, including Leonard’s Fennville High School. It was actually in the gym. Perhaps, that fact hasn’t received much play, though, because the unit apparently didn’t get much use.

According to a reporter from the Grand Rapids Press working the story, in all the chaos which ensued, it is unclear if the unit ever was used or if the one brought along by paramedics eventually was.

I started this blog just 2 months ago (Jan, 2011) and in that short time, I have posted numerous articles of referees and athletes who’s lives were spared thanks to the quick actions of an ATC with an AED.  It must be noted that one situation I blogged about ended in a death even with an ATC and AED present. Access to an AED and an ATC won’t guarantee resuscitation, but your odds of survival are much higher if an AED is applied within 4 minutes and CPR is started within 2 minutes.  If a school administration does not provide access to an AED with trained personnel (i.e. ATC) then the odds of survival go way down and approach 0% survival rate at a mere 9 minutes!

Are you prepared?

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