Survival following sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in the young athletic population has been poor. New findings strongly support the value of on-site AED programs for the treatment of SCA on school grounds.
The single greatest determinate of survival following SCA is the time from collapse to defibrillation, with survival rates declining 7% to 10% per minute for every minute defibrillation is delayed. Upon review of 1710 nationwide high schools with on-site AED programs (at least 1 AED on school grounds; mean 2.8 AEDs per school), 36 (2%) schools reported a case of AED use within a 1-year period from July 2006 to June 2007. Twenty-two of the cases were in older nonstudents, and 14 cases were in high school student-athletes. Thirty cases received defibrillation with use of an on-site AED. The overall survival rate to hospital discharge was 64%, including a 64% survival rate in student-athletes with SCA.
Source: Sports Health, January-February, 2009