CPR and AED Awareness

CPR and AED Awareness
Posted on 05/12/2022

CPR and AED Awareness

Lauren Hatch, MAT, LAT, ATC

Legend & Ponderosa High School

Recently in the news, there has been discussion on the importance of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) during a cardiac episode. In a time of crisis, having a functioning AED and individuals who are trained in its use is crucial to increasing the chances of saving a life.

In a study conducted in 2018 by Emelia Benjamin et al, the authors found that 1 of every 7.4 people in the United States will die of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA)2.  Roughly 350,000 people die from SCA every year, which is equivalent to 1 death every 90 seconds3.  Children are not immune to SCA either. While the rate of SCA among children under 18 is significantly lower than adults, roughly 7,000 children suffer from SCA each year, with many dying from these incidents. With children, there is usually an underlying medical condition or genetic component as to why they have suffered SCA2.  Yearly physicals that are required by the school district for athletic participation can save lives and help lower the pediatric rate of SCA.  

Survival of SCA heavily relies on a quick response to the scene, personnel trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and the use of an AED. Individuals who have experienced SCA have a 50 to 70 percent rate of survival if CPR and an AED are used within five minutes of the episode. Every minute that passes decreases the survival rate by 10 percent6.  After 10 minutes, resuscitation rarely succeeds5.

You may be asking, “Does DCSD have AEDs in schools?” or “How can I as a family member/student/bystander help in a cardiac emergency?” Both are great questions. Douglas County high schools are required to be equipped with at least two AEDs located centrally on each floor of the school building in an alarm censored box. Most schools have extra AEDs that are located outside at sporting fields, are with the Athletic Trainers (ATs), and/or are in athletic training rooms. Douglas County elementary and middle schools are equipped with at least one AED, usually located in the main hallway or the main office. Next time you are in your child’s school, ask where the AED is located or look for a white and/or red box hanging on the wall. 

In response to how you can help, getting CPR and AED certified is the best way to do so. Sixteen million people worldwide are trained in CPR each year3.  There are classes offered at recreation centers, hospitals, clinics, and even churches. Classes usually take an evening to complete and certification is active for two years. While most people will never have to use their training, having the background of how to perform CPR properly can save a person who is in distress. If you are interested in CPR training, there are links to both the Red Cross and American Heart Association located at the bottom of this article.  

We, as DCSD ATs, hope to never have to use an AED or perform CPR at one of our events, but we will always be prepared to do so and act swiftly and accordingly. All DCSD ATs and coaches are required to maintain an active CPR certification. In a moment where ATs or coaches must act during an emergency, we welcome help from those who are CPR and AED trained and hold current certification.

CPR Training Resources:




1. “The Athletic Trainers Guide to AEDs.” Avive Solutions, 27 July 2021, https://avive.life/guides/the-essential-athletic-trainers-guide-to-aeds/. 

2. Benjamin, Emelia, et al. “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2018 ... - Circulation.” Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2018 Update: A Report from the American Heart Association, AHA Journals, 18 Jan. 2018, https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000558. 

3. “CPR Statistics.” AHA CPR First Aid Blog, American Heart Association, https://cprblog.heart.org/cpr-statistics/. 

4. “Importance of Rapid Defibrillation & Survival Rate.” Avive Solutions, 17 Nov. 2021, https://avive.life/guides/importance-of-time-to-defibrillation/. 

5. “OSHA- Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).” Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) - Overview | Occupational Safety and Health Administration, United States Department of Labor, https://www.osha.gov/aed. 

6. “Why Is Early Defibrillation Vital?” DefibFirst, https://www.defibfirst.com.au/what-is-sca/4-what-is-sca-sudden-cardiac-arrest. 

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