National CPR & AED Awareness Week: Five Ways to Get Involved

National CPR and AED Awareness Week is a reminder of the power everyone holds when it comes to saving a life. According to the American Heart Association, during a cardiac emergency, for every minute that passes without CPR or a defibrillating shock, the probability of survival drops by about 10%*. This makes it important that bystanders know how to properly administer CPR and have quick access to an AED in times of crises. Through quality training and education, you’ll be able to foster the confidence you need to get one step closer to helping someone survive.

The Five Ways:

  • Encourage CPR and AED Certifications – Encouraging others to get CPR and AED certified can help them learn the life-saving skills and techniques necessary to respond to sudden cardiac arrest. Communities can use education and awareness to create a network of prepared responders who know how to act swiftly during cardiac emergencies, ultimately saving more lives.
  • Know the Signs and Symptoms – Actions as simple as telling someone to dial 911 or fetch the closest AED can make a difference in survival outcomes. Some AEDs, including ZOLL AEDs, provide written and verbal instructions to help inexperienced individuals perform quality CPR. If you witness somebody experiencing the following, be sure to act: 
    • No pulse or breathing
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Heart palpitations 
    • Loss of consciousness
  • Evaluate AED Placement – Take the time to review the location of AEDs in your school or facility. They should be placed in visible areas and within three minutes of every location in your building.  This includes providing one on each floor and storing them 48 inches off the ground for better wheelchair accessibility. When thinking of AED implementation, many locations need to be considered, including:
    • Elevators
    • Outside stairways
    • Cafeterias
    • Fitness centers and gymnasiums
    • Primary entrances and reception desks
    • Main corridors
    • Outdoor areas where students play sports
  • Ensure Rescue Readiness – Having emergency equipment readily available is vital for prompt intervention during SCA. Furthermore, having a well-defined emergency response plan can help ensure that everyone knows their roles and responsibilities in the event of sudden cardiac arrest. Staying ready for the unexpected at all times has the ability to increase survival rates and enhance overall public safety. Check out our School Safety Center and comprehensive supply list and use them as references when you're emergency planning and checking supplies off your list.
  • Enable Your Community to Take Action – Brainstorming how you can spread awareness about the significance of CPR and AEDs is another way you can take part this week.  Sharing personal stories or testimonials via social media is one approach to this – be sure to use the hashtag #AEDsHelpSaveLives! Using a voice and word-of-mouth will help you shine the spotlight on this topic this week and for weeks to come.

* 2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC. 

Make the Game Safer in a Heartbeat

Do your athletes know the importance of heart health?

October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) month. Although athletes are generally healthy, they are not immune to cardiac problems. According to The American Heart Association, The NCAA is moving forward with developing guidelines to detect college athletes at risk for sudden cardiac death, including mandated heart screenings. Due to this, time and early detection are vital when these events occur. This makes it essential for athletes, trainers, coaches, and sports organizations to be proactive when responding to sudden cardiac arrest incidents. Taking preventative measures on and off the field is key to ensuring long term safety, heart health, and peak performance in athletes. 


Triggers of SCA in Athletes:

  • Underlying heart conditions: Physical examinations don’t always detect heart abnormalities, leaving athletes to believe that they are fine, when in fact they may have an underlying heart condition. This can make them more susceptible to SCA, especially in vigorous sports that demand more stress on the heart.
  • Family history: Many athletes may have a family history of heart conditions that they are unaware of, putting them at higher risk.
  • Overtraining syndrome: Sage Journal explains how Athletes who engage in excessive training or exercise without proper rest may develop hormonal imbalances that could disrupt the heart’s function.

Blunt Force Trauma:

Athletes who participate in high-contact sports are at a higher risk of experiencing sudden cardiac arrest due to the physical nature of these activities. Since high school and college sports can be utterly competitive, this is extremely important to acknowledge. When a blow to the chest occurs at just the right time during the cardiac cycle, it has the potential to be fatal. This is something that all athletes and coaches need to consider, since this can happen without any preexisting heart abnormalities.


Remind Your Athletes To:

  • Cardiac evaluations:  Undergo specific cardiac evaluations to identify any underlying heart conditions or risk factors before the season, such as EKGs.
  • Periodic checkups:  Schedule regular checkups with a healthcare provider to assess blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. 
  • Rest if needed: Take a break if needed. Do not ignore symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or heart palpitations – inform the coach or trainer immediately.

SCA Prevention by Athletic Trainers and Coaches:

  • Regular drills and testing: Conduct emergency response drills that involve the use of AEDs and CPR to get coaching staff and all players familiar with using the equipment.
  • Maintenance and inspection of AEDS: Evaluate all AED units and accessories, verify that they are strategically placed throughout the facility, and replace batteries when needed.
  • Hydration and recovery: Ensure players are hydrated by allowing regular water breaks to prevent dehydration or heat-related illnesses.

Stay Prepared:

SCA does strike without warning among athletes. However, there are tactics that sports facilities, coaches and athletes can focus on to minimize these risks, but they must work as a team. Staying prepared and informed about heart health is an important thing to do – this month, and every month. 

School Heath offers AEDS, AED accessories, CPR training kits, hydration products, and more to support the health and safety of your school athletic program.


Resources:,never%20detected%2C%E2%80%9D%20he%20said.              ,to%20access%20and%2For%20see.

CPR & AED Awareness for Your School

Cardiac Arrest

National CPR and AED Awareness Week is June 1st through June 7th! Now more than ever, it’s important to ensure that your equipment is up to date in case of emergency. According to the American Heart Association, cardiac arrest occurs in about 7,000 children outside of the hospital each year. In addition, there are also about 10,000 cardiac arrest events in the workplace every year. It could happen to any student or faculty member and making sure those in an educational environment are properly trained can save a life.


AED Maintenance & Accessories

Just as CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and AED (automated external defibrillator) certification needs to be renewed every couple years, batteries and pads for AED devices must also be maintained. Depending on model and life expectancy of the device, batteries and pads must be replaced every two to five years. For example, a Zoll AED 3 has both an electrode pad and battery lifespan of five years. This specific device even includes a warranty of eight years for the device itself and its battery. Be vigilant for any wear and tear of an AED, however, a service indicator light will appear if maintenance is necessary. Every AED is different, so always consult the owner’s manual for proper care and device use.


In preparation of an emergency, additional AED accessories, which include cases, wall mounted cabinets, kits, and more, can be used to extend device use and decrease upkeep. Not every educational facility requires the installation or availability of an AED device but being aware of AED locations is valuable in case of an emergency. For quick access, signage for AEDs should be placed in high traffic areas, such as hallways, main entrances, gymnasiums, auditoriums, cafeterias, and the nurse’s office. If unsure about proper care and display regulations, SH Connect, School Health’s AED compliance management service, helps schools ensure their AED Systems are compliant with local state and federal laws. This service and app can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, and it allows users to sort customizable reports to access information about their AEDs in order to ensure they are operating properly.


CPR & AED Training

CPR Certification through the American Heart Association costs about one dollar per student and only takes one class period to be trained. When a victim is given CPR immediately, their chances of survival double – or even triple. However, less than 40 states in the US require CPR training for high school students before they graduate. The CPR certification that students and faculty can receive will be valid for two years.


Along with CPR, an AED can further increase an individual’s chances of survival in a case of cardiac arrest. Those who receive a shock from an AED within the first minute of cardiac arrest, have a 90% chance of living through the event. While an AED can be an investment, the training certification through the American Heart Association is still a quick process and costs only slightly more than the cost of being CPR certified.


Stay Aware

National CPR and AED Awareness Week can help remind students and faculty how to prepare to save someone that experiences cardiac arrest. Applying CPR and maintaining AEDs might be a straightforward process but deciding which AED your school needs can be an overwhelming choice. School Health can assist with this impactful decision and can help find the correct device that would best fit your facility.




Keep students and staff safe at school

Keep Students and Staff Safe at School

Students are currently going to school in a variety of settings, whether that is at home, in person, or a mix of both. However, as districts slowly welcome their students back to full in-person learning, it is important that schools are adequately prepared to keep their students safe in case of an emergency.

Traumatic Bleeding and Stop the Bleed

From 2013 to 2019, there were 549 incidents of gunfire on school grounds. Unfortunately, this number shows how important it is for districts to be prepared in case of a tragic event. In general, uncontrolled bleeding is the leading cause of preventable death in trauma patients. Providing students and staff with the proper training to respond to these situations is key not only for incidents involving gunfire, but also for other instances where traumatic bleeding can occur. The American College of Surgeons’ Stop the Bleed program is a great initiative that trains people on what to do in case of an emergency. You can shop Stop the Bleed kits, tourniquets, and more here.

Cardiac Arrest

According to the American Heart Association, cardiac arrest occurs in about 7,000 children outside of the hospital each year. This, coupled with new COVID-19 research showing that the virus has the potential to affect the heart, means that schools need to be prepared with the proper equipment in case of a cardiac emergency. As schools open, it is imperative that they check their AEDs and AED accessories for signs of wear.

  • Verify that AED batteries are working and have not expired.
  • Check the service indicator light.
  • Check for any wear and tear on the AED.
  • Ensure that AED pads and accessories are not expired.
  • Consider adding additional AEDs and signage in high traffic areas such as hallways, main building entrances, gymnasiums, cafeterias, auditoriums, and nurse’s office.

Fire Prevention, Burn Treatment, and Weather Emergencies

The National Fire Protection Association states that from 2014-2018 fire departments responded to an average of 3,230 structure fires in schools per year. The organization also found that school fires mostly started in bathrooms or locker rooms. After being closed throughout much of the last school year, it is imperative that schools check that their fire systems, including fire alarms, fire extinguishers, cooking equipment and water-based protection systems and sprinklers, are still fully functional. When it comes to weather-related emergencies, it is important for schools to have working weather monitors to stay informed on severe weather as well as a well-rehearsed plan of action in case of a tornado, or other event.

In addition, make sure your building has:

  • Working exterior lighting with timers or motion sensing capabilities
  • Working intrusion alarms, ventilator openings, and roof hatches
  • Trees, bushes, and other plant life trimmed to keep areas around the building clear
  • Trash receptacles stored away from buildings
  • Monthly fire drills with students and staff so that everyone knows all evacuation procedures
  • Proper equipment to for fire prevention and fire treatment
  • Proper emergency evacuation equipment

School Lockdown

In the United States, firearms are the leading cause of death in children and teens, according to Everytown. The organization also states that so far in 2021, there have been 18 incidents of gunfire on school grounds across the country. In 2020, there were 67 incidents. In light of these numbers, schools need to have a lockdown plan in place, regularly practice lockdown drills with students and staff, and have the necessary lockdown supplies and emergency equipment on hand.

Drug Deactivation

In a 2017 survey from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2.2 million adolescents between the ages of 12-17 were illicit drug users. In case of an overdose emergency at school, the National Association of School Nurses states that it is the responsibility of the nurse to respond and give medication like Naloxone, or other drug deactivation assistance, since they would be the first health professional to come in contact with a student experiencing an overdose emergency.

Accidents and Injury

Accidents and injury can happen at any time, so schools need to be prepared with the proper supplies like first aid kits and accessories, including blankets and emergency lighting. Common cause of injuries at school include bullying, slipping and falling, playground accidents, food poisoning, school bus accidents, and sports injuries.

Check your first aid kit for:

  • Working flashlights and/or two-way radios with good batteries.
  • Check the expiration dates and packaging on any antibiotics or ointments in the kit.
  • Replace any supplies in your kit that looks like it has been used up.

It is impossible to predict an emergency, but it is possible to be prepared. By having the proper emergency procedures in place as well as the necessary equipment and supplies, schools can ensure the safety of their staff and students if an emergency occurs.

Visit our School Safety Center to see our full selection of emergency equipment and resources.



Important Links


Equipment Guidelines and Recommendations for Reopening Your Facilities

While states, counties, and individual school districts continue to release guidelines for re-entry, the transition from remote to in-person learning can have its difficulties. While PPE, infection prevention, and thermometry may be at the top of your mind, there are several pieces of equipment and areas of your buildings that may be overlooked.

With buildings empty for months, some of your school’s infection prevention and emergency supplies may need to be checked and updated. It is imperative for schools and facilities to have the proper equipment in case of an emergency, especially amid a pandemic. Below we have a brief outline of areas of your building that may require updates to equipment, additional cleaning protocols, or a change in normal operation.

The CDC’s K-12 Schools COVID-19 Mitigation Toolkit can be a great tool to implement mitigation strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This toolkit includes strategies, checklists, resources, and more. 


General Equipment Check

AEDs - 

Research has shown that there might be a correlation between COVID-19 and the heart. In some studies, patients who had the virus also experienced heart inflammation. One study, which focused on student athletes at The Ohio State University, showed that many of the athletes who were diagnosed with COVID-19 had symptoms of myocarditis, too. As new information emerges about how the virus impacts overall health, it is important to be prepared in case of a cardiac emergency. Performing a comprehensive AED readiness check can help ensure your facility is ready. 

  • Verify that the AED batteries are working.
  • Check the service indicator light.
  • Check for any wear and tear on the AED.
  • Ensure that AED pads and accessories are not expired.
  • Consider adding additional AEDs in high traffic areas such as hallways, main building entrances, gymnasiums, cafeterias, auditoriums, and nurse’s office.

Air Filtrations and Filters - 

Air purification and filtration in schools has been a highly discussed topic, but there are still many questions as to its effectiveness against COVID-19. However, airborne infection is 15-20 times more likely to occur indoors than outdoors.  For schools, experts also suggest that stronger filters for existing ventilation systems are a higher priority than providing individual purifiers for each classroom.

  • Review any known issues and check for water leaks or mold growth.
  • Look for any covered diffusers, closed supply diffusers, blocked return grilles, etc.
  • Make sure fans and portable devices are not blowing from one person on to another.
  • Operate all HVAC systems in occupied mode at least one week before reopening if the systems have been shut down for an extended period of time.

For more information on ventilation in Schools and Childcare settings, visit the CDC’s website for building recommendations.

To see a comprehensive guide for how to prepare your ventilation systems, visit the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers to see their full guidance on reopening schools and universities.

Oxygen Availability - 

Twenty-five percent of 911 emergencies in schools are due to breathing issues. Breathing emergencies can be caused by anxiety attacks, asthma attacks, cardiac arrest, food allergies, and more. With COVID-19, some severe cases of the virus led to patients having problems breathing as well. Therefore, schools should have emergency oxygen devices available in the case of a breathing emergency.

  • Check shelf life of the oxygen if there is a date.
  • Check condition of disposable oxygen masks, tubing, and other accessories.

Disposable Products, Disinfectants & PPE - 

Another major consideration before reopening is the ability to provide PPE for students and staff. According to one estimate from ASBO International, it may cost some districts up to $148,190 to provide disposable masks for students who do not bring them from home and another $44,415 for staff. The organization also estimates spending about $1,440 on gloves for custodians. Besides protective apparel, it is also important that schools have effective hand sanitizers, disinfectant sprayers, and cleaners. For a more detailed checklist, see the CDC’s Considerations for K-12 Schools.

  • Replace expired hand sanitizer and make sure that it has at least 60% alcohol.
  • Consider investing in electrostatic disinfectant sprayers and effective cleaners.
  • Have a supply of gloves and masks for students and staff.
  • Store all cleaning equipment away from children.

Autoinjectors & Inhalers for Allergies - 

According to the National Association of School Nurses, students may be eating in places other than the cafeteria due to social distancing rules. To avoid anaphylaxis, NASN recommends that students with known allergies always carry their autoinjectors with them, and that those with asthma continue taking their medications.

  • Ensure that there is a supply of unexpired epinephrine available, extra syringes, disposable spacers and rescue inhalers.

Water Systems - 

After time away and reduced operation of normal water usage, it is important to take the proper health and safety measures to ensure your drinking water is free from lead or copper exposure or any other diseases associated with water.


Areas in Need of Special Attention

Entrance - 

A building’s entrance can be one of the most highly trafficked areas. Having a designated station for symptom and temperature checking at your entrance can help reduce the chances of an outbreak and limit building capacity while allowing for easy documentation.

Tips for building entrances:

  • Post signs and messages in highly visible locations that promote everyday protective measures like mask use and hand washing.
  • Have a designated healthcare professional help with contact tracing, taking temperatures, and symptom checking.
  • Consider thermal imaging / infrared cameras for a more reliable and faster temperature reading.
  • Limit nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities that involve external groups or organizations coming into the building.
  • Using Electronic Health Record Systems can help organize health records, monitor outbreaks, and keep track of Individual Healthcare Plans (IHPs), Medicaid documentation, vaccinations, and more.

Transportation - 

School Busses operating at a smaller capacity should still take proper precautions when it comes to social distancing and proper cleaning.

Tips for school transportation:

  • Check students’ temperatures at the front door before a student gets on the bus.
  • Students should keep their face protection on the whole time they are in the vehicle.
  • Consider keeping a box of disposable face coverings in the front of the bus for any student who may forget theirs.
  • Students should stagger seating from row to row and drivers can help organize seating by marking off every other seat.
  • If possible and weather permitting, allow bus windows and/or roof hatch to remain open while transporting students to increase air flow.

Classroom and Instructional Areas - 

As an area where students spend most of their day, the classroom can be a breeding ground for germs and poor air circulation. Aside from a more intense surface cleaning regimen, making sure the classrooms’ ventilation systems are updated and running properly with new filtration can lower the chance of airborne infection.

Tips for classroom cleaning, social distancing, and ventilation:

  • Use a non-toxic cleaner to disinfect frequently touched surfaces including desks and doorknobs.
  • Limit the use of shared items and encourage hand washing and/or sanitizing before and after use.
  • Keep students’ belongings separated from others’ and in individually labeled containers, cubbies, desks, or other areas.
  • Space seating and desks at least six feet apart, facing one direction instead of facing each other, and use partitions when necessary.
  • Bring in as much outdoor air as possible by opening windows and doors to the outside and/or hallways.
  • Consider running your HVAC system at maximum outside airflow for 2 hours before and after the building is occupied.
  • Use portable air cleaners that use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to enhance air cleaning in higher-risk areas.

Nurse’s Office and Isolation Room - 

While developing COVID-19 symptoms is a serious call for concern, there are still a number of other reasons students make the trip to the school nurse, whether it be routine daily medication, diabetic check-ins, or other illnesses. Isolating students in a separate room/area who show symptoms of COVID-19 can help reduce traffic and maintain social distancing in the nurse’s office.

  • School Nurses and other healthcare professionals should follow the proper infection prevention and control recommendations from the CDC and wear the proper protective apparel.
  • Consider setting up an isolation room for students who experience COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Parents or guardians should be contacted to transport sick students home as soon as possible.
  • Areas used by an individual who developed symptoms should be cleaned and disinfected immediately.
  • Students, teachers, and staff who have been in close contact (within 6 feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a period of 24 hours) of someone with COVID-19 should not return to the building until they have completed their quarantine.
  • COVID-19 tests can be administered in the facility without having to wait to schedule one outside of school.
  • Parents, staff, and local health officials should be notified immediately of any cases of COVID-19 in the building.
  • Stock both the nurse’s office and isolation room with disinfectant, hand washing area, furniture, and other PPE and infection prevention supplies.
  • Portable carts can be a great way to provide care to students and keep them out of the confined space of the nurse's office. Carry everything you need to do classroom visits, temperature checks, screenings, and more.

Hallways - 

In normal circumstances, school hallways can be high-traffic areas, especially between class periods, lunchtime, and before and after school. Making changes to the normal traffic pattern in hallways can be essential in reducing the spread of airborne particles.  

  • Place hand sanitizing stations/dispensers at classroom entrances, restrooms, and in high traffic areas.
  • Reduce the number of students and staff in the halls at once by adjusting class passing periods and limiting time spent at lockers/cubbies.
  • Establish one-way traffic routes using floor tape, floor signs, or other physical distance markers to help maintain safe distancing.

Restrooms - 

Restrooms are one of the most widely shared common spaces and can be an area where germs can spread quickly. Encouraging all students and staff to thoroughly wash their hands can be one way to prevent the spread of germs.

  • Facility restrooms should be cleaned multiple times throughout the day, and including heavily touched areas such as doorknobs, faucet handles, and toilet levers.
  • Social distancing can be maintained by blocking off stalls and sinks that do not have partitions or some sort of separation.

Physical Education and Facilities - 

For children and adolescents, physical exercise is shown to elevate self-esteem, improve concentration, reduce depressive symptoms, improve sleep, and more. It can also have great benefits to overall health and wellness which is extremely important to help promote healthy lifestyles and boost the body’s ability to fight off illness and infection.

  • Physical Education settings should adhere to the school, district, and state guidelines to promote the health and safety of students.
  • Choose activities that require little-to-no physical contact between students.
  • Conduct physical activity outside if weather permits.
  • Reduce equipment sharing and consider using personal PE kits for each student.
  • Use floor markers and spots to promote traffic flows and physical distancing between students.
  • Keep doors and windows open whenever possible to maximize circulation and airflow due to increased respiration by students during physical activity.

View Shape America’s School Reentry Considerations for more information to help administrators, staff, and teachers prepare an environment for safe and supportive instruction.

Athletic Trainers: Room, Facilities, and Return-to-Sport - 

Athletic Trainers play an important role in bridging health and safety recommendations into practice. While many pre-pandemic precautions have remained the same, Athletic Trainers have begun working in collaboration with school officials and other medical professionals to provide a safer and healthier environment for student athletes. Returning to sport and other activities requires more than just updated cleaning protocols, but also closer attention to athlete’s physical health, pre-participation examinations, and return to activity following COVID-19.

  • Working with the school and districts other medical professionals to assemble a COVID-19 response team to implement a safe return-to-sport plan.
  • Establish an effective communication plan with the athletic director and coaches to identify areas that require adjustments to adhere to local and state guidelines.
  • Eliminate equipment sharing between athletes as much as possible and consider investing in electrostatic disinfectant sprayers and effective cleaners to sanitize equipment and shared spaces after use.
  • Review and make necessary updates to cleaning and sanitization policies and promote proper hygiene to help reduce the spread of germs.
  • Collect updated medical history for all returning athletes and review the Statement on PPE and Athletic Participation for more information on extending pre-participation physical examinations to reduce strain on physicians and clinics.
  • Consider setting up general physical examinations at school that include a check of vital signs, COVID-19 symptom and exposure checking, and other cardiovascular, muscular, or general medical examinations.
  • Identify and prepare for detraining, heat acclimation, conditioning, and condensed or expanded season concerns.
  • Ensure venue-specific EAPs are in place and up to date due to COVID-19 related effects on the cardiovascular, neurologic and other systems.

For more specific details relating to Return to Sport considerations, view NATA’s Considerations for Secondary School Athletic Trainers or your local association’s guidelines and policies.


These are just a few ways schools can be better prepared before students return. For in-depth guides to reopening schools, please visit the CDC, WHO, and other health organizations to find more information to keep your students, staff, and communities safe and healthy.

Visit to shop all emergency preparedness equipment, infection prevention supplies, PPE, and more.


Important Links and Additional Resources

Impact of COVID-19 on Cardiac Health in Young People

February is American Heart Month, and with the rise of COVID-19, maintaining cardiac health has become increasingly important for people of all ages. While COVID-19 was originally thought to only impact the respiratory system, research has shown that it can also be detrimental to the cardiovascular system, even in young and healthy people.

Fast Facts about COVID-19 and Cardiac Health

  • Heart problems are showing up in patients of all ages.
  • COVID-19 enters a cell using the ACE2 receptor. This might be why people with obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure have more severe infections.
  • COVID-19 has been shown to affect heart muscle cells and tissue, even in people who were asymptomatic.
  • Based on a study from Italy, there was a 52% increase in Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) fromFebruary 21-April 21, 2019 to February 21-April 21, 2020 . This increase was shown to be related to the increase in COVID cases.

When we think about cardiac arrest, we tend to associate it with older adults who suffer from a preexisting condition.However, pre-COVID-19, more than 7,000 children experienceda cardiac arrest event outside of the hospital each year. to Mayo Clinic, some of the reasons that sudden cardiac death occurs in young people are hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, coronary artery abnormalities and Long QT syndrome. Myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart, is also a concern for both age groups, causing about 75 deaths per year in teens and young adults ages 13-25. Oftentimes, people with this condition do not experience symptoms and never get properly diagnosed. Although they are an active group of people, young athletesare at an especially high risk for myocarditis and should be screened often to prevent an undetected diagnosis that could lead to sudden death.

The Effects of COVID-19 on Children and Young Adults

Even though COVID-19 has been around for about a year, it is a still a very new virus and many of its effects on young people’s health are still being studied. With new research and scientific advancements, physicians and scientists are starting to discover the virus’ potentially lingering impact.

According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, during the first wave of COVID-19, cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), or Kawasaki-like disease, were observed in more than 1,000 children and adolescents. The illness includes a constellation of symptoms such as gastrointestinal symptoms, rash and conjunctival inflammation. These features, including signs of myocarditis, were confirmed in a lab by elevated markers of inflammation.

In another study that aimed to explore the effects of COVID-19 on student athletes and their cardiac health, JAMA and the Ohio State University tested 26 students who had previously had the virus and were either asymptomatic, or exhibited mild symptoms. These athletes participated in various sports including football, soccer, basketball, lacrosse and track. Through this study, researchers discovered that 30% of the tested students had heart damage, and 15% showed signs of myocarditis.

As students head back to school and sports, staying up to date with cardiac and COVID-19 research is key to ensuring that school personnel are prepared to help students in case of a cardiac event. Of course, having proper and well-maintained medical equipment like AEDs and resuscitation devices is also very important, especially if there is continued evidence that the virus can cause heart problems. According to the American Heart Association, children treated by an AED had a survival rate of 29.1%, versus a 23.7% survival rate of children who were not.  

Despite concerns about contracting the virus and its effects, it is still crucial for parents to take their children to regular physicals and wellness checks. A recent study showed that 70- 80% of American children are missing their appointments because of the fear of being exposed to COVID-19 at the doctor’s office. Missed visits to the pediatrician can cause long-term problems because of delayed detection and diagnosis of chronic illnesses, or delayed treatment for common diseases.

Maintaining a child’s health through regular doctor visits, having an adequate number of AEDs and emergency equipment, and proper CPR training, will allow students to safely participate in physical activities in and out of the classroom. Even with COVID-19 and other health concerns, children and young adults need physical activity that can raise their heart rate and foster a healthy, active overall .

5 Tips for a Healthy Heart

  • Get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a day
  • Establish and maintain a healthy diet
  • Stay away from smoking and alcohol
  • Manage your stress in a healthy way, like doing breathing and mediation exercises
  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep at night


Visit our website and check out our selection of AEDs and accessories here




10 Common Mistakes Found in School AED Programs

1. Not having enough AEDs to cover the building properly.According to the American Heart Association, the goal of every AED program is to deliver defibrillation to a sudden cardiac arrest victim within 3 to 5 minutes of collapse. Perform response drills within your school building to make sure you can reach a victim within that timeframe. ¹

2. Placing AEDs where they are inaccessible after hours, such as behind locked doors.Schools often have events after-hours, such as night games in the gym, when sudden cardiac arrest can occur. Make sure AEDs are available wherever and whenever people congregate on the school grounds.

3. Not having enough signage indicating the placement of the AEDs throughout the school.Clearly designate where AEDs are located within the school so staff and school visitors can easily locate them during an emergency. Sudden cardiac arrest is a very stressful event, so make it as clear as possible for rescuers to locate the device.

4. Not checking the AED’s pads’ expiration dates.All AED pads have an expiration date stamped on the outside of the package. These pads need to be replaced by their expiration date to perform optimally in an emergency. Keep your AED rescue ready by having a procedure in place for checking and replacing your AED’s pads. School Health offers an AED Program Management Programto help you keep track of pad expiration dates.

5. Removing the batteries from the unit to save battery life.Your AED’s battery is what powers the AED to deliver life-saving shocks. In the event of an emergency, your AED should be ready to deploy. Every second counts, and if a rescuer must delay the life-saving shock in order to insert the battery, the results may not be optimal. The rescuer may not realize the battery is not in the unit until after the unit is already on the patient or may be unfamiliar with how to insert your device’s particular battery. Always keep your battery in the unit.

6. Not checking the unit’s battery life.Similar to replacing an AED’s pads, the other key replaceable component on an AED is its battery. As the power source for the AED, it is imperative that a school has a procedure in place that periodically checks on the AED’s battery life. Be sure to order a replacement battery well before your existing one needs replacing. You do not want your AED to be out-of-service because you’re waiting for a battery replacement to ship. School Health’ AED Program Management Program will keep track of your AED’s battery life.

7. Having too few people trained to respond to a sudden cardiac emergency within the district.According to the American Heart Association, an AED operator must know how to recognize the signs of a sudden cardiac arrest, when to activate the EMS system, and how to do CPR. It's also important for operators to receive formal training on the AED model they will use so that they become familiar with the device and are able to successfully operate it in an emergency. Training also teaches the operator how to avoid potentially hazardous situations. ² School Health’s AED Program Management Program will help you manage staff training.

8. Not having a Policy and Procedure in place.Schools should have a policy in place that clearly defines the responsibilities and protocols for use of the AED. The policy should document all aspects about your AED program, such as the medical director, the location of AEDs, responsibilities of rescuers, operational steps for use, post event procedures, and the maintenance of the AEDs. The procedure should include guidelines for determining when it should be used, and a protocol written by a medical doctor outlining the operation of the AED. Sample policy and procedures are readily available from School Health, EMS organizations, AED manufacturers, or other schools. Visit the School Health Safety Center for more information.

9. Misunderstanding the warranty and indemnification length of their unit and the impact these have on the district.Every AED differs in their lengths of warranty and the indemnification policy. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for normal use and service so units remain covered by the warranty. Remember that once your AED warranty expires, the school must pay for any service or technical support. The indemnification policy states that the manufacturer will defend and indemnify any person or entity who purchases or uses an AED against any claims, damages, liabilities, or actions asserted by a third party. The indemnification policy is often limited in years and places the financial burden upon the school after it expires.

10. Not having an AED program coordinator and/or a designated emergency response team.Identifying these people as part of an AED program is extremely important to the success of your program. An AED program coordinator will be responsible for communication with the medical director, emergency response team members, administration, the local EMS and the public about the AED program. The AED program coordinator will also perform quality assurance activities such as ensure first responders are CPR/AED trained and re-trained, that the AEDs are properly maintained, and participate in case reviews. The emergency response team will complete a CPR/AED training course, understand the policy and protocol for responding to medical emergencies, and follow the procedures outlined in the AED protocol when responding to SCA victims. When choosing how to manage your AED program — keeping your school compliant, your staff trained, your AEDs serviced, and your data tracked — trust School Health to be your one stop solution.

School Health AED Program Management

School Health Safety Center


References: ¹ American Heart Association. Working Against Time Brochure. 2003

²American Heart Association. Web. 19 Apr 2011. AEDs are so easy.

Do Your Students Know What To Do?

You work each day to keep students healthy as they receive an education and prepare for future life. But what about preparing them to save a life during a cardiac emergency?

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in school affects 7,000 students annually.There is no warning before SCA strikes and is witnessed 50% of the time.High-quality CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED) are a victims best chance of survival. When a victim collapses from SCA, you have three minutes to begin CPR and apply an AED. Every minute of delayed defibrillation leads to a 10% decrease in the survival of the victim.3  When time is of the essence, is your school prepared to respond?

Follow these steps to help a victim of SCA. And most importantly, don’t panic. 

1. Check the area for safety. Before beginning treatment to the victim assess the scene for safety. Make sure you put yourself in the best position to help the victim. You do not want to put yourself in danger and become a victim yourself.

2. Check for responsiveness and call for help.Once you’ve determined the scene is safe, check the victim for responsiveness by asking, “Are you okay?”. Scan the victim to see if they are breathing and if a pulse is present. If the victim is unresponsive, ask someone to call 911 and get an AED. Next begin CPR.

3. Apply proper chest compressions.Chest compressions at the proper rate of 100 to 120 beats per minute at a depth of 2 to 2.4 inches are critical to move blood out of the heart and to the vital organs. Try to avoid leaning on the chest and minimize any pause between compressions. High-quality CPR is critical to ensure the survival of the victim.

4. Follow the AED prompts. When the AED arrives, turn it on, attached the pads to the victims bare chest, and follow the prompts. Make sure not to touch the patient while the AED analyzes the victim’s heartrate. If the AED advises a shock, make sure to stand clear until the shock is delivered. If the victim remains unresponsive, resume CPR until emergency responders arrive.

Download this poster with step-by-step guidance on assisting SCA victims and help your school be prepared to respond to an SCA emergency.

To learn more about how the ZOLL® AED Plus® can protect your school, click here.



1Atkins DL, et al. Circulation. 2015;132(suppl 2): S519–S525.

2Mozaffarian D, et al. Circulation. 2015;131:e29–e322

3AHA guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care science 2010:122:S706

Student Athlete Risk for SCA

PLUS_EV_sch_soccer_2_HRIs your team prepared?

Coaches spend countless hours preparing student athletes for competition, but how about training them to save a life? Studies show between 6,000 - 8,000 teens experience sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) annually;of those affected, only 1 in 10 will survive.2

Student athletes are at heightened risk for SCA due to the additional strain placed on the heart during athletic conditioning and competition. Contributing factors include the influx of adrenaline, dehydration, fever, and changes in electrolytes.3

An SCA victim’s best chance of survival depends on having an automated external defibrillator (AED) close at hand. Nine out of ten victims who receive a shock from an AED within the first minute’s survive.Ensuring that your students and coaches are trained to respond to an SCA emergency could help save a life.

SCA can strike without warning, but sometimes symptoms are presented.

Train your student athletes to know the warning signs:5

  • Fainting

  • Chest pain

  • Shortness of breath

  • Irregular heartbeat – racing or fluttering

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Extreme fatigue

Watch this video to learn the story of a high school volleyball player whose life was saved when volunteers took action.

Having AEDs readily accessible throughout your school’s campus will help ensure that you are prepared to respond to an SCA emergency, whether it happens on the field, in the gym, or in the cafeteria.

 To learn more about how the ZOLL AED Plus can help prepare your school for an SCA emergency click here.


1“Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Teenage Athletes: What’s the Risk?”. Promise powered by Nemours Children’s Health System.

2“AHA Release 2015 Heart and Stroke Statistics”. Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation.

“Sports and Sudden Cardiac Arrest(SCA)”. Cardiosmart – American College of Cardiology

4Source: 2017, AHA Mediagenic Survey Results; 2017, AHA with Edelman Intelligence; 2017, AHA with BLR Media; Postgrad Medical Journal, October 2007.

5”Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in Student-Athletes”. California Interscholastic Federation.

Stop the Bleed and AEDs at the University of Connecticut

We received the following testimonial from Justin Pedneault, the University of Connecticut Rescue President & Training Coordinator. Justin contacted School Health for assistance in getting the university to their goal of being a Heart Safe Campus. 

At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, I was working with the University of Connecticut School of Nursing on the Storrs campus to add a second AED to the nursing building. In addition to this, I wanted to add signs throughout the building directing people to the nearest AED, a first response kit and bleeding control kits to both AEDs, and then seek HeartSafe Workplace designation from the Connecticut Department of Public Health.  As part of this process, School of Nursing Dean Deborah Chyun asked me to give a 3-5-minute presentation at a campus-wide forum, with all academic department heads represented, in April 2018.  I gave a quick talk about the need for these improvements and how I was working with the School of Nursing to get them done. Following my presentation, the provost’s office, which put the event together, was flooded with emails asking how to do the same thing in all of the other academic departments and schools on the Storrs campus.

In response, the provost’s office created a committee that included the UConn Fire Department, Michael Zacchera from Hartford Hospital, Dr. Richard Kamin from UConn Health, the Facilities and Maintenance unit, the Office of Planning and Design, the Office of Emergency Management and myself. Our goal was to spend $150,000 towards accomplishing this task in academic buildings by the end of the fiscal year, giving us about 30 days to select equipment and place the first order.  We quickly met and ordered 100 Stryker (Physio Control) CR-Plus AEDs, alarmed cabinets, and 200 stop-the-bleed kits (2 kits with each AED cabinet) from School Health. This included signage and first response kits (mask, gloves, trauma shears, razor, etc.) with each AED. These were destined for all academic buildings on every UConn campus.

We were extremely fortunate that School Health worked with the manufacturer to donate all the cabinets, enabling us to purchase an additional 35 AEDs/cabinets/bleeding control supplies. We have since been given permission to plan for an additional 200 AEDs (with cabinets, first response kits and bleeding control kits) to cover every single building including residential and staff buildings on every single UConn campus (Storrs, Stamford, Hartford, Avery Point, Depot Campus). Our goal is to deliver an AED and bleeding control supplies to any victim in a round- trip walk of less than 3 minutes. This is a requirement to get the Connecticut Department of Public Health HeartSafe Campus designation, which we as a university are working to attain.  We have been working very closely with the DPH and they have been touring buildings with us while selecting the locations for these emergency supplies. Every inch of every building is being evaluated to determine the most beneficial and appropriate locations.

School Health has been a helpful and valuable partner in our effort to meet the needs of a large, complex enterprise like the University of Connecticut that has dozens of academic buildings spread across five campuses. Our goal is to make our campuses safe and responsive places for our students, faculty, staff, and visitors, and School Health has been key in helping us reach that goal.

Outside of my efforts with this committee, I also serve as the President and Training Coordinator for UConn Rescue, a student organization at the University of Connecticut which allows students to gain experience in the medical field with EMS training. This organization meets monthly with EMS continuing education classes and training scenarios for members. A key component of UConn Rescue is our training program. UConn Rescue regularly hosts American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare Provider CPR/AED classes, AHA Heartsaver CPR/AED classes, AHA Heartsaver First Aid classes, and Stop the Bleed classes each semester. We began offering our first classes in April 2016 after I became an American Heart Association Basic Life Support CPR Instructor. I continue to be responsible for every aspect of coordinating, teaching, ordering, managing instructors for our ever-growing and expanding training classes each semester. UConn Rescue has offered over 1,500 seats for various trainings and trained almost 1,000 students, staff and faculty. These student-run programs meet the training requirement for the Connecticut DPH HeartSafe Campus designation.

While working on the HeartSafe Workplace efforts with the School of Nursing during the spring 2018 semester, I worked on integrating the Stop the Bleed class into the nursing simulation curriculum. The plan was to replace an existing assignment in the nursing students’ junior class schedule during a simulation in their fundamentals nursing class. As such, all undergraduate nursing students will be trained in the Stop the Bleed class before graduation in their junior year fall semester.

I have greatly enjoyed my efforts at the University of Connecticut and I look forward to seeing all my projects through and always seeking to improve existing processes.