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Michigan encourages schools to participate in CPR/AED Drill Week

Friday, November 11, 2016   (0 Comments)
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LANSING, Mich. – Every year, approximately 326,000 people fall victim to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) at home or in public locations such as schools, with only 10 percent surviving. Prompt delivery of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation of a victim’s heart can double, or even triple, the chance of survival. In recognition of these facts and since one in five people are in a school building each day, Governor Rick Snyder and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) have proclaimed November 7-11, 2016, as Michigan Schools CPR/AED Drill Week. During this week, Michigan schools are encouraged to conduct CPR and AED drills as an important lifesaving step.


“Cardiac arrest is often an unexpected event and is especially frightening when a young person is involved,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive with the MDHHS. “Early recognition and immediate intervention is critical for survival, and our hope is that all Michigan schools will know how to respond when someone – whether a student or an adult – has a cardiac arrest.”


Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating effectively. When this happens, CPR is needed to help maintain vital blood flow to the heart and brain, increasing the amount of time in which an electric shock from an automated external defibrillator (AED) may be effective. AEDs are used to restore a normal heart rhythm. They are most effective if used immediately after the onset of sudden cardiac arrest.  For every minute without CPR, survival from witnessed cardiac arrest decreases 7-10 percent.


Implementation of CPR within one minute, and application of an AED within 3-5 minutes, of a victim’s collapse is crucial for increasing the chance of survival for cardiac arrest victims.  The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends the ‘Chain of Survival’ that includes five important steps: early recognition of a cardiac arrest and calling 9-1-1; rapid bystander response with Hands-Only CPR; use of an AED; advanced life support; and, post cardiac care.


Since July 1, 2014, Michigan schools are required by state law to have a written cardiac emergency response plan.  Michigan schools can also receive an honorary designation as a MI HEARTSafe School by taking additional steps to prepare for a cardiac event including performing a CPR/AED drill.  In October 2016, 105 Michigan schools were awarded MI HEARTSafe School designation by MDHHS, AHA, Michigan Department of Education, and Michigan Alliance for Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death, bringing the total number of MI HEARTSafe schools across Michigan to 267. 


For details about MI HEARTSafe Schools, visit For more information about SCDY prevention in Michigan, visit AHA guidelines are available online at




Source: Michigan Department of Health & Human Services

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