Background Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of death in athletes during exercise. The effectiveness of school-based automated external defibrillator (AED) programmes has not been established through a prospective study.
Methods A total of 2149 high schools participated in a prospective observational study beginning 1 August 2009, through 31 July 2011. Schools were contacted quarterly and reported all cases of SCA. Of these 95% of schools confirmed their participation for the entire 2-year study period. Cases of SCA were reviewed to confirm the details of the resuscitation. The primary outcome was survival to hospital discharge.
Results School-based AED programmes were present in 87% of participating schools and in all but one of the schools reporting a case of SCA. Fifty nine cases of SCA were confirmed during the study period including 26 (44%) cases in students and 33 (56%) in adults; 39 (66%) cases occurred at an athletic facility during training or competition; 55 (93%) cases were witnessed and 54 (92%) received prompt cardiopulmonary resuscitation. A defibrillator was applied in 50 (85%) cases and a shock delivered onsite in 39 (66%). Overall, 42 of 59 (71%) SCA victims survived to hospital discharge, including 22 of 26 (85%) students and 20 of 33 (61%) adults. Of 18 student-athletes 16 (89%) and 8 of 9 (89%) adults who arrested during physical activity survived to hospital discharge.
Conclusions High school AED programmes demonstrate a high survival rate for students and adults who suffer SCA on school campus. School-based AED programmes are strongly encouraged.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.