There is an estimated 300,000 deaths per year from out of hospital cardiac arrests in the United States each year. The likelihood of survival drops 10 percent for every minute of delay between collapse and care. An AED increases the chance of survival by approximately 50% to 74%. That is why it is so important to have trained personnel on site who are ready to take action when an emergency occurs. That is why Timber Creek prides themselves on the fact that every coach and athletic trainer is CPR and AED certified and follow a school wide emergency action plan.
First off, AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator. It’s a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the heart’s rhythm and recognizes whether the person’s heart is in ventricular fibrillation or tachycardia. Once the device recognizes an abnormal rhythm, it prompts the first responder to shock the victim, stop the arrhythmia, and restore the heart back into normal, effective rhythm. AEDs can cost anywhere from $1,200 to $2,500 each. Timber Creek has seven of them on campus. The locations of the AEDs are spread out over the campus in case of a life threatening emergency occurring. Each and every faculty member of the school should know where the closest AED is to them if ever in a case of an emergency.
In the 15 years that Timber Creek High School has been opened, an AED has only been needed in one occasion. It was in the spring of 2007, a 15 year old Timber Creek baseball player dropped at the mound and with the quick response of an umpire, the boys’ mom who was a nurse, a parent who was a paramedic, and one of the athletic trainers – the boys life was saved. Unfortunately, no on could foresee that this was going to happen to the boy without having an EKG performed on him. The question is – if an EKG would have been performed during his annual sports physical, could this situation have been prevented? Currently, the state of Florida does require a sports physical to participate in sports but does not require parents to have EKGs performed on their child.
Earlier this month, the Timber Creek Sports Medicine & Athletic Program offered sports physicals for $20 to all incoming freshman and current Timber Creek students. This was also the first year that EKG heart screenings were offered at very reasonable cost of only $15. They were provided by a non-profit organization called Who We Play For. The mission of their organization is to reduce the incidence of sudden cardiac death in teens and young adults by providing affordable cardiac screening and increasing awareness. This organization is driven by the young lives that were lost to sudden cardiac arrest and are fighting to make sure other families and communities never know the pain of loss in this way.
If you are a parent or know someone that is interested in getting an EKG heart screening for their child, please go to heartmykid.com and register for a FREE heart screening on Saturday, June 25th. This event is being held by One Beat Foundation, an independent non-profit organization. For more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 954-321-5305.
(Below is a quote from Evan Ernst, the Executive Director in Florida for Who We Play For and a few of his thoughts of what occurred at the Timber Creek High School sports physical event including how a young lady was recently saved by CPR and the use of an AED and her sharing her experience.)
“In the last couple years, we’ve stumbled across some absolutely beautifil “pure moments” (cc: boggy creek fam). Last night at our Timber Creek screening, from a far while signing peeps in, I had the privilege of watching Lexi Sima – Viera High cheerleader and sudden cardiac survivor – walk confidently up to Heather Klein and request the mic. A little dumbfounded, Heather handed it over. Unprompted and out of nowhere, this fearless high schooler gave the articulate call to action for her peers to get screened. Why? Because just months prior she was miraculously saved by CPR and an AED due to a heart condition that was missed in her sports physical… From a dude that’s obsessed with the art of public speaking, I truly can’t imagine doing that in high school.”
(From Left to Right: Evan Ernst, Heather Klein, Zane Schultz, Antoinette Schultz, Lexi Sima, Shawn Sima)