Metro schools lauded for heart emergency readiness

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News

Twenty-nine Metro Detroit schools are among 105 designated Wednesday as being prepared to respond to cardiac emergencies.

“Many sudden cardiac deaths that claim the lives of children and young adults could be prevented through screening, detection and treatment,” Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement. “Appropriate medical response within three to five minutes is crucial for increasing the chance of survival.”

The schools that were given an MI HeartSafe designation were announced by the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education, American Heart Association, Michigan High School Athletic Association and the Michigan Alliance for Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death of the Young.

Among the Oakland County schools receiving the award were Notre Dame Preparatory School and Notre Dame Marist Academy.

“Our faculty, coaches and staff worked very hard to develop a comprehensive response plan and get the appropriate certifications in place,” said Maureen Radulski, assistant athletic director at Notre Dame and the school’s MI HeartSafe coordinator. “We also are proud of the fact that in March we received the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Safe Sports School award for our athletics program.”

To receive a designation, schools must follow several rules including performing at least one cardiac emergency response drill per year; have a written medical emergency response plan and team; have CPR/AED certification for at least 10 percent of its staff, 100 percent of head varsity coaches and 50 percent of physical education staff; have accessible, properly maintained and inspected AEDs with signs identifying their location; and ensure pre-participation sports screening of all student athletes.

“Ensuring schools are prepared for sudden cardiac emergencies through planning, training and life-saving AEDs is an important part of having safer learning environments for students, staff and the community,” State Superintendent Brian Whiston in a statement.

According to the MI HeartSafe program, there were 2,590 people in Michigan between 1 and 39 years old who died of sudden cardiac death between 2003 and 2012. Of those, 214 were between 5-19 years old. This is the third year of the MI HeartSafe program and 162 schools previously were designated as MI HeartSafe Schools.

Another student heart health effort is pending in the state Legislature. A bill mandating students in grades 7 to 12 receive CPR training has passed the state Senate, but is pending in the Michigan House.

SLewis@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2296

Metro Detroit schools

Schools who have been designated a MI HEARTSafe School:

Wayne County

■Allen Park High

■Blair Moody Elementary

■Creative Montessori Academy

■Dove Academy of Detroit

■Eureka Heights

■Harry S. Truman High

■Hoover Middle

■John F. Kennedy High

■Kinyon Elementary

■Myers Elementary

■Taylor Parks Elementary

■Thurston High

■University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy

■West Middle

Oakland County

■Bradford Academy

■Four Corners Montessori Academy

■Lake Orion High

■Milford High

■Notre Dame Marist Academy

■Notre Dame Preparatory

■Our Lady Queen of Martyrs

■Rochester High

■Southfield Christian

Macomb County

■Adlai E. Stevenson High

■Chippewa Valley High 10-12

■Dakota High Ninth Grade Center

■DeLaSalle Collegiate High

■Henry Ford II High

■Warren Woods Tower High

Source: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services