PCA Designated Heart Safe School, Meets National Cardiac Arrest Training Standards

Prattville Christian Academy has been designated a “Heart Safe School” for its efforts in educating staff and students on the importance of life-saving Automated External Defibrillators (AED). The designation required PCA to develop campus-wide response procedures in the event of a cardiac emergency under “Heart Safe School” guidelines provided by Alabama Lifestart, the local affiliate of Project ADAM.  PCA is one of a few schools and school systems state-wide that meet the new national standards for cardiac-arrest training preparedness developed by Project ADAM affiliates at children’s hospitals throughout the United States. 

Schools, in general, are micro-communities with large populations of students, parents, family, faculty and community members. With nearly 250,000 Americans suffering a sudden cardiac event each year, the likelihood of experiencing a medical emergency is real. Research indicates that “79 percent of cardiac arrests at schools were witnessed, compared with just 62 percent at other public locations,” and of the public places that have emergency plans, schools possibly offer the best opportunity for a good outcome. 

The development of PCA’s cardiac emergency procedures and communication methods were made possible under the supervision of  Alabama LifeStart who also donated an AED trainer to the school in support of the effort.  Among the procedures include risk assessments, care plans, emergency medical response drills, installation of AEDs, and CPR training. 

“Having  AEDs on campus wasn’t enough for us,” said Janet Brackins, school nurse. “We wanted to give someone suffering a cardiac event that best chance at survival by knowing exactly what to do in such an instance. PCA’s documented protocols, ongoing drills and training allow us to potentially save lives in the future. We hope to never have to use our AEDs, but if we do, we are prepared.” 

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