Despite being the number one killer on school campuses in the U.S, nothing can mentally prepare a teacher for when they have to treat one of their students for Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).
Thankfully, when Isabella McMahill suffered an SCA at the beginning of a class at Grandview High School, Missouri; AED and CPR trained School Health Coordinator Mary Rhodes and Grandview Police Department School Resource Office Brett Myers were on hand to quickly deliver life-saving treatment.
Since being with the district for over 25 years, Mary Rhodes has never had to use an AED, until now.
"AEDs in each of our buildings gives us the ability to enhance emergency care. Without the AED in this instance, the outcome would certainly have been different. It allowed us to save a life that day," said Rhodes.
Officer Myers was recognized earlier in the year by the Grandview Police Department for saving a choking baby after responding to a 911 call.
"Both times, I was just doing what I was put there to do. At the High School, I was fortunate to have the right people around me doing what needed to be done to get the best outcome possible-- saving a life," he said.
Without the availability of an AED and CPR trained staff, the outcome for Isabella could have been very different. AED accessible is vital in all schools to help increase the chances of survival against SCA of which CPR and defibrillation is the only definitive treatment.
Whilst some U.S States require AEDs on school premises, it is not a requirement by law in every State, meaning some schools are without the equipment, leaving both students and staff vulnerable against cardiac arrest, a condition which affects over 350,000 individuals every year in the U.S.
3 weeks following her collapse, Isabella made a full recovery and was able to return to school. The cardiac arrest was linked to a heart defect, to which Isabella now needs a heart transplant to rectify.
Does your child’s school have access to an AED? If not, do you think they should? Share your thoughts on AEDs in the education system with us on Twitter @thedefibshop.
Photo taken from KSHB-TV News