If your organization is in need of an AED, apply HERE to receive a donated AED.
Facts About Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death in the U.S. 325,000 people die each year as a result of SCA. SCA can affect healthy individuals of all ages.
SCA is the leading cause of death among athletes.
SCA is not the same as a heart attack.
A heart attack is caused by a blockage in an artery supplying blood to the heart.
SCA occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating, due to a malfunction in the heart’s electrical system that causes the heart to go into ventricular fibrillation (VF).
The most effective treatment for VF is defibrillation.
Facts about Defibrillation
According to the American Heart Association, less than 12% of SCA victims survive.
Defibrillation within 3 to 5 minutes of collapse is optimal.
For every minute of delay in defibrillation, survival rates decrease by 7-10%.
30-50% would likely survive if CPR and AEDs where used within five minutes of collapse Access to early defibrillation is critical in saving lives.
Facts about Early Defibrillation & AEDs
An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a computerized medical device that can be used to treat a victim of sudden cardiac arrest.
An AED evaluates the victim’s heart rhythm, determines if shock is needed and delivers an electric shock through the chest wall to the heart. Audio and/or visual prompts guide the user through the process. AEDs are safe to use!
The device will NOT deliver a shock unless a “shockable” heart rhythm is detected (i.e., “medically necessary.”)
The user of an AED cannot "accidentally" shock him or herself, or someone else.
Above facts are from the American Heart Association & Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association
AED Links of Interest
Public Act No. 09-94, (formerly SB 981 "An Act Concerning the Availability of Automatic External Defibrillators in Schools", took effect July 1, 2009). This adds Connecticut to the growing ranks of states encouraging school districts to implement life-saving automated external defibrillator (AED) programs to benefit both school children as well as members of the community utilizing school grounds. The Connecticut Athletic Trainers' Association (CATA) and American Heart Association (AHA) are proud to have been leading advocates for this legislation.
In 2002, a similar school defibrillator law went into effect in New York State and to date, advocates have documented 36 instances in which a life has been saved as a result of the New York "AEDs in Schools" law. If one life can be saved as a result of Public Act No. 09-94, our bill will also have been a success.
The CATA and the AHA are pleased to provide you with resources as you consider a Public Access to Defibrillation (PAD) program for your school. While the CATA and AHA are not directly involved in the implementation process, both organizations have a wealth of resources to assist you. If you already have AEDs within your district, our AED Resource Guide may serve as a tool as you review your existing emergency response plan.
For the Resource Guide, or for additional resources, please click on the links in the menu to your right. Also, visit the American Heart Association at www.americanheart.org.
Facts About Public Act No. 09-94:
Public Act No. 09-94 took effect July 1, 2009. Beginning July 1, 2010, Public Act No. 09-94 will require:
• Each local and regional board of education in Connecticut to have at each school under its
jurisdiction a minimum of one automatic external defibrillator, accessible both during and after the
• School personnel trained in both cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and in the use of an
automatic external defibrillator.
• The inclusion of a sudden cardiac arrest plan in a school’s existing emergency response plan.
Public Act No. 09-94 is not a state mandate. Section 1d of the Public Act notes: “a local or regional board of education shall not be required to comply with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section if federal, state or private funding is not available to such local and regional board of education to purchase an automatic external defibrillator and pay for the training of school personnel described in said subsection.” Notwithstanding, the CATA and AHA strongly encourage all schools to implement Public Act No. 09-94 to its fullest extent. The statute does allow schools to accept donations, secure grant funding, and fundraise in order to purchase AEDs.
According to American Heart Association statistics, sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in athletes. Not only should AEDs be available during the school day, they should also be readily accessible for after school activities, including at athletic practices and events, since it is during and after physical activity that sudden cardiac arrest most often occurs in young athletes. 25% of all sudden cardiac deaths in young athletes are due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a congenital heart defect that often goes undiagnosed until it is too late. 20% of sudden cardiac deaths in young athletes are a result of commotio cordis, a blunt chest blow that causes the heart to go into sudden cardiac arrest. Most victims of commotio cordis are between 10 and 18 years old and have died while participating in sports including baseball, softball and lacrosse.
The CATA and the AHA are excited to be your partners in this endeavor. While we hope that you never need to activate your PAD program, we wish you and your program much success. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions or need assistance.