FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 12, 2017
CONTACT: Angela Minicuci, (517) 241-2112
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Departments of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), and Education (MDE); American Heart Association (AHA); Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA); and Michigan Alliance for Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death of the Young (MAP-SCDY) today awarded 125 schools in Michigan with the MI HEARTSafe School designation which recognizes schools that are prepared to respond to cardiac emergencies.
“Sudden cardiac death of a young person is tragic and some of these events can be prevented with fast, appropriate medical response within three to five minutes” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive of MDHHS. “It is always wonderful to see communities come together to help prepare schools to respond to these medical emergencies.”
In order for a school to receive a MI HEARTSafe School designation, it must perform at least one cardiac emergency response drill per year. This school year, MAP-SCDY has identified the weeks of November 6-10, 2017 and February 5-9, 2018 as CPR/AED (automated external defibrillator) drill weeks to remind schools about the importance of practicing for this type of emergency.
Other requirements for the MI HEARTSafe award include having a written medical emergency response plan and team; current CPR/AED certification of at least 10 percent of staff, and 50 percent of coaches including 100 percent of head varsity coaches and 100 percent of P.E. staff; accessible, properly maintained and inspected AEDs with signs identifying their location; and ensure pre-participation sports screening of all student athletes using the current physical and history form endorsed by the MHSAA.
Since the launch of the MI HEARTSafe program in 2014, at least three people suffering sudden cardiac arrest are known to have been successfully resuscitated at schools that were preparing for or had recently submitted a MI HEARTSafe application.
“We are so proud to support Michigan’s HEARTSafe schools,” said State Superintendent Brian Whiston. “Ensuring schools are prepared for sudden cardiac emergencies through planning, training, and life-saving AEDs is an important part of having safer learning environments for students, staff, and the community.”
This is the fourth year of the MI HEARTSafe Schools program in Michigan. The designation lasts for three years, and this year, 22 schools received their second MI HEARTSafe award. In the first three years of the initiative, 266 schools were designated as MI HEARTSafe Schools and thus better prepared to help reduce the number of sudden cardiac deaths in our youth.
Public Act 12 of 2014 requires all schools (grades kindergarten to 12) to have a cardiac emergency response plan in place, and Public Act 388 of 2016 requires CPR and AED instruction for pupils enrolled in grades 7 through 12. The MI HEARTSafe School designation recognizes the 369 school buildings that have now taken steps above and beyond to prepare to respond in the event of a cardiac emergency.
For the list of designated schools, visit https://migrc.org/Library/HeartSafeSpotlight.html.
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