Fort Worth, Texas,
14:36 PM

Cook Children’s Project ADAM aims to save lives

Two things you can learn right now

In the middle of a high school volleyball match in Georgia, one gut-wrenching moment stopped everyone in their tracks. Loganville Christian Academy senior Claire Crawford was playing one second and on the ground the next. She had gone into cardiac arrest. Luckily, staff and coaches, trained to use CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED), rushed to her side.

The situation unfolded on Oct. 13th of last year. Now, nearly four months later, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is using video from that game to stress the importance of life-saving training, which the hospital credits with saving Claire.

At Cook Children's Medical Center, there's an entire team devoted to making sure school nurses, teachers and staff know what to do if a student collapses. They're called Project ADAM, Automated Defibrillators in Adam’s Memory. Project ADAM helps schools implement a comprehensive plan to prevent sudden cardiac death. Part of the plan is to designate a team to write plans, conduct AED drills, and educate school staff on the warning signs and treatment of sudden cardiac death.

"We want to empower our school employees," said Laura Friend, Project ADAM Coordinator. "I always tell them 'Everyone is overqualified to do this. Anyone can save a life."

Friend spends at least three days a week traveling around the six-county region Cook Children's serves, teaching school staff how to do CPR and use an AED. From there, many nurses and athletic trainers go on to train the staff at their schools.

"A lot of people don't realize how easy it is. Every time I show a class the video of what CPR does for the brain, I hear people say 'Ohhh,'" said Friend.

The video Friend is speaking of outlines all of the steps needed to save a life in just under four minutes. It also shows how CPR keeps blood flowing to the brain, helping to prevent damage.

These steps even helped save a Keller ISD student recently.

According to the school district's website, a student at Timberview Middle School suffered a seizure and stopped breathing. Nurse Jane Danielson and the school's Code Red Team quickly sprang into action.

“I looked over afterward, noticing Mr. Morrow in a t-shirt. He had literally taken the shirt off his back to cover the student,” Danielson said. “Everyone stepped up in some way or another.”

Schools that complete the Project ADAM program are recognized as Texas Heart-Safe Schools.

For more information or AED training, please call 682-885-6755.

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