After initiating a program to put heart defibrillators in schools across the country, some scientists are scratching their heads over whether it’s a good idea.
After conducting a survey of Paramedic response in the Seattle area to heart related incidents at schools, scientists found the majority of cardiac arrests occurred among adult teachers at schools and adult visitors at schools. Over 16 years, only 12 cardiac arrests occurred, mostly in people with preexisting conditions.
One of the researchers was Dr. Tom Rea, of University of Washington’s Harborview Medical Center. The research was undertaken in response to legislation by many states to make law the maintenance of defibrillators in schools, and was published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
One of the main problems is that defibrillators do not come cheaply. They cost approximately $3,000, and school nurses must be instructed in their use and application.
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