[HEADLINE: Ways to Reduce Deaths in Schools ... Forum Jan. 15 in Florida]

Author: Tim Stewart (---.dsl.dytnoh.ameritech.net)

Date: 01-08-03 08:20

Copyright 2003 PR Newswire Association, Inc.

PR Newswire

January 8, 2003, Wednesday 9:01 AM Eastern Time

SECTION: STATE AND REGIONAL NEWS

DISTRIBUTION: TO MEDICAL, EDUCATION AND SPORTS EDITORS

LENGTH: 879 words

HEADLINE: Ways to Reduce Deaths in Schools and on Athletic Fields Focus of

National Center for Early Defibrillation Forum Jan. 15 in Florida;

Meeting to Include Parents of Sudden Cardiac Arrest Victims and Medical Experts

DATELINE: PITTSBURGH, Jan. 8

BODY:

The statistics are alarming. According to research reported in a 1996 issue

of "Circulation," a publication by the American Heart Association, it is

estimated that one out of every 100,000 to 300,000 high school athletes will die

from sudden cardiac death each year. The average age of collapse is 17, and a

large percentage of these victims are male. The cause of sudden death in young

competitive athletes varies, but most result from an undiagnosed congenital

heart abnormality, which tragically provides few or no prior symptoms.

To help reduce the mortality of sudden cardiac arrest in young students,

school athletes and adults, the National Center for Early Defibrillation (NCED)

at the University of Pittsburgh is hosting an issues forum, "Automated External

Defibrillators (AEDs) in the Schools," on Jan. 15 at the Marriott Bay Point

Resort in Panama City Beach, Fla.

Parents of young sudden cardiac arrest victims; emergency medicine and

cardiology experts; representatives of the American Heart Association, the

American Academy of Pediatrics, the EMS for Children National Resource Center,

the Association of School Nurses; AED manufacturers and national training

organizations will convene from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to discuss ideas on how

to start defibrillator programs for schools. Other topics on the agenda will

include laws and liability issues, pre-participation screenings for teen

athletes, funding for school-site AED programs, program implementation, training

and data collection.

The forum is taking place the day before the annual meeting of the National

Association of EMS Physicians.

"While schools are primarily a location for children and teens, they are

also gathering places for adults and the elderly who may attend public meetings,

evening classes and sporting events. It makes sense to have portable AEDs

available in these public places because one never knows where or when sudden

cardiac arrest may occur," said Vincent N. Mosesso, M.D., assistant professor of

emergency medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and

medical director of the NCED. "Additionally, CPR and defibrillator training

should be integrated into school curricula so students can promote a culture of

bystander response," added Dr. Mosesso.

"Our goal of this meeting is not to debate whether or not AEDs in schools

are a good or bad idea. Instead, we want to meet with people who have

successfully initiated school-site AED programs to see what has worked for them

so we can formulate appropriate recommendations," said Mary Newman, executive

director of NCED.

An AED is a small portable device that analyzes heart rhythms and advises

the operator, through computerized voice instructions, when to push a button to

deliver a potentially lifesaving shock to a victim in cardiac arrest. They are

safe, effective and easy to use. Most AEDs today are no bigger than a laptop

computer and weigh less than 10 pounds. Many experts agree that if a victim can

receive a shock within a few minutes of collapse, there is a much better chance

for survival.

Several parent advocates who launched successful school-site AED programs in

memory of their children will attend the forum to share their personal stories.

These parents represent Project Adam in Wisconsin, the Ken Heart Foundation in

Ohio, the Louis J. Acompora Memorial Foundation in New York and the Gregory

Moyer Defibrillator Fund in Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania, free AEDs were made available for schools through the

Pennsylvania Department of Education Act 4 of 2001, which was signed by former

Governor Tom Ridge, established a one-time AED program to assist schools with

acquiring AEDs. As a result, each school district in Pennsylvania was offered

two free AEDs and each intermediate unit and area vocational-technical school

was offered one free AED. In addition, AEDs were made available to other school

entities including non-public, private, charter and independent schools that met

program requirements.

The National Center for Early Defibrillation was established in January 2000

by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine's department of emergency

medicine and its affiliated Center for Emergency Medicine of Western

Pennsylvania. An independent, nonprofit resource and advocacy center dedicated

to improving survival from sudden cardiac arrest, the NCED is the only national

clearinghouse dedicated to providing comprehensive information on AEDs. NCED's

mission is to foster optimal immediate care for victims of sudden cardiac arrest

by providing leadership, expertise and information related to early

defibrillation.

More information about NCED is available at www.early-defib.org, or by

calling toll free 1-866-AED-INFO.

CONTACT: Maureen McGaffin

Lisa Rossi

PHONE: (412) 647-3555

FAX: (412) 624-3184

E-MAIL: [email protected]

[email protected]

SOURCE University of Pittsburgh

CONTACT: Maureen McGaffin, [email protected] or Lisa Rossi, [email protected],

both of the University of Pittsburgh, +1-412-647-3555 or fax: +1-412-624-3184

URL: http://www.prnewswire.com

LOAD-DATE: January 8, 2003

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[Re: HEADLINE: Ways to Reduce Deaths in Schools ... Forum Jan. 15 in Florida]

Author: Lisa Salberg (---.dyn.optonline.net)

Date: 01-08-03 08:24

I just called them.... to get the HCMA involved in the "cause"...I will keep you posted.

Lisa