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The National Athletic Trainers’ Association has selected Project ADAM (Automated Defibrillators in Adam’s Memory) as one of three recipients of the 2016 Youth Sports Safety Ambassador awards for its commitment to protecting the health and safety of young athletes in all sports.
What is Project ADAM?
Project ADAM is a national initiative to make automated external defibrillators (AEDs) available to all children and adolescents. Sponsored by Children’s Hospital Colorado, Project ADAM Colorado prepares schools and community organizations for cardiac emergencies.
Why are AEDs essential for schools?
Each year thousands of children in the United States suffer a sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest events often have little to no warning signs and occur in otherwise apparently healthy children. While routine doctor’s visits and sports pre-participation evaluations are able to identify some children at risk for sudden cardiac arrest, many children at risk remain undiagnosed until an event occurs.
Sudden cardiac arrest survival rates decrease by 10% with each minute of delay. Kids who suffer a sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting are very unlikely to survive unless they receive prompt and effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation. Early recognition, proper equipment and training are critical to help kids survive these events.
On average children spend nearly a third of their day in school and often more hours afterwards at school-related activities. Hundreds to thousands of children, teachers, administrators and parents may be on the school grounds each day. This makes schools an ideal place to plan and prepare to respond to emergencies such as a sudden cardiac arrest.
AEDs can help save the lives of kids like Kaine Greathouse. Kaine had an unexpected cardiac arrest during an eighth grade wrestling match last year. Thankfully, his school had an AED on hand, and paired with CPR, it saved his life. Now he is advocating for all schools to have an AED onsite.
For many years, Project ADAM has worked with schools to educate and train students, teachers, coaches and others about the dangers of sudden cardiac arrest and the importance of an effective and practiced emergency action plan that includes the use of CPR and AED.
Dr. Christopher Rausch and cardiac specialists at Children’s Colorado are coordinating these efforts with partners throughout the state to make Colorado’s schools safer for kids.
“As a result of the efforts of Project ADAM and its affiliates across the country, hundreds of children’s lives have already been saved,” said Dr. Rausch. “I am incredibly excited to be a part of an organization that strives continually to make our schools and our children safer.”