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IESA and IHSA Launch Initiative To Treat Sudden Cardiac Arrest

School Health Corporation Supports Effort with Donation of Medtronic Defibrillators

The Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) and the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), nonprofit associations of public and private Illinois schools, in conjunction with School Health Corporation and Medtronic, are launching a statewide educational outreach campaign about sudden cardiac arrest and early defibrillation. The goal of this campaign is to make Illinois schools heart safe by providing education about sudden cardiac arrest and facilitating placement of defibrillators in Illinois schools. To launch this campaign, School Health Corporation has donated a Medtronic LIFEPAK. automated external defibrillator (AED) to each organization for use at future interscholastic events.

We know from numerous studies that more lives can be saved if defibrillation technology and trained volunteers are available where people gather,. said IESA Executive Director Steve Endsley. .We are dedicated to making AEDs a regular piece of safety equipment at our athletic events to help save both athletes and spectators who may suffer sudden cardiac arrest.. Over 500,000 people attend Illinois State High School Association events annually.

House Bill 4232 makes it necessary for most Illinois schools to implement automated external defibrillator programs, Endsley said. We developed this campaign to help our members implement successful AED programs that are designed to save lives.

It is critical to safeguard lives by having LIFEPAK AEDs at Illinois school events, and we are proud to donate a LIFEPAK CR Plus AED to these organizations,. said Susan Rogers, president of School Health Corporation.

Sudden cardiac arrest is a frequently misunderstood, worldwide killer. It can affect anyone, anywhere, anytime.including children. It is a leading cause of death in the United States, claiming the lives of nearly 1,000 men, women and children every day. The number of reported cardiac arrests in people under age 18 varies widely due to how the information is reported by age and by cause (heart or respiratory problems, trauma, drowning, etc.) Estimates for cardiac arrest in this age group range anywhere from 1,900 to 14,000 per year, based on the total population of individuals under the age of 18. Additionally, on any given day, as much as 20 percent of the adult and child populations combined can be found in United States schools. Relying on first responders and other emergency medical personnel isn.t always a realistic answer. While these groups do their best to quickly arrive at the scene of a cardiac arrest, they cannot control factors such as traffic or delayed calls from the scene to a dispatcher, and not all emergency medical personnel are equipped with AEDs.

Although not everyone can be saved from sudden cardiac arrest, studies show that early defibrillation can dramatically improve survival rates. Today, out-of-hospital survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest are about five percent, yet recent studies show that survival rates as high as 74 percent are possible when AEDs are accessible and used within three minutes of collapse. The average response time to a 9-1-1 call is six to 12 minutes. This fact underscores the importance of AEDs in schools and public places.

Unlike the models of defibrillators intended for use by health care professionals, AEDs do not require extensive medical knowledge to understand or operate. The expertise needed to analyze the heart's electrical function is programmed into the device, enabling trained nonmedical professionals to respond to cardiac emergencies. For more information on sudden cardiac arrest and AEDs, go to www.aedhelp.com.

LIFEPAK AEDs are prescription devices. To receive a prescription, a physician must be consulted. AED users should be trained in CPR and the use of the AED.

School Health Corporation, headquartered in Hanover Park, Ill., is the leading provider of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to schools by offering turnkey solutions including site assessments, staff and student training, emergency response planning, and ongoing quality monitoring to ensure their customers have the best chance of saving a life in the event of a cardiac emergency. The company is proud of the many lives which are now being saved as a result of its school AED implementations.

About Medtronic

Medtronic Emergency Response Systems, located in Redmond, Wash., pioneered defibrillation technology 50 years ago. With more than 500,000 LIFEPAK defibrillators distributed worldwide, it is the world's leading provider of external defibrillators for the treatment of sudden cardiac arrest. To find out more about AEDs, go to www.aedhelp.com or call 1-800-442-1142.

Medtronic, Inc. (www.medtronic.com), headquartered in Minneapolis, is the global leader in medical technology.alleviating pain, restoring health, and extending life for millions of people around the world. The company was ranked number one on FORTUNE's 2006 industry breakdown list of America's Most Admired Companies. This is the ninth consecutive year that Medtronic has been named one of .America's Most Admired Companies.. For more information about Medtronic, visit www.medtronic.com or call 1-800-328-2518.



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