Kent Transition Center, the Tech Center, and Cedar Springs public schools are among the 40 Michigan schools to recieve recognition for the new MI HEARTSafe School designation by the Michigan Departments of Community Health (MDCH), Education (MDE), Michigan Alliance for Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death of the Young (MAP-SCDY) and the American Heart Association (AHA), which recognizes schools that are prepared to respond to cardiac emergencies.
Between 1999 and 2009 in Michigan, there were 3,134 individuals between 1 and 39 years of age who died of sudden cardiac death. The recognition of MI HEARTSafe Schools is a step toward reducing the number cardiac deaths in youth.
“MDE is proud to support MI HEARTSafe schools,” said State Superintendent, Mike Flanagan. “Ensuring schools are prepared for sudden cardiac emergencies through planning, training, and AEDs is an important part of safety for students, staff, and the community.”
Public Act 12 of 2014 requires all schools (grades kindergarten to 12) to have a cardiac emergency response plan in place by July 1, 2014, but those recieving the recognintion have gone above and beyond the requirements.
In order for a school to receive a MI HEARTSafe designation they must perform at least one cardiac emergency response drill per year; have a written medical emergency response plan and team; have current CPR/AED certification of at least 10 percent of staff; have accessible, properly maintained and inspected AEDs with signs identifying their location; and ensure pre-participation sports screening of all student athletes using the current physical and history form endorsed by the Michigan High School Athletic Association.
“Cardiac arrest is often an unexpected, frightening event that can happen at any age, and is something that is being discussed more frequently,” said Dr. Matthew Davis, Chief Medical Executive with the MDCH. “Implementation of CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED) within 3-5 minutes is critical for increasing the chance of survival for victims of cardiac arrest. To be ready for such emergencies, preparation and practice are key.”