Published on: 02/07/2023
Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) are collaborating to prepare school employees to respond quickly and efficiently should students, family members of school staff experience sudden cardiac arrest. To date, staff at 90 MDCPS schools have received training provided by Nicklaus Children’s Heart Institute clinicians in life-saving methods, including CPR, response plan development and use of automated external defibrillations.
Nicklaus Children’s Heart Institute is a proud affiliate of Project ADAM, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving our community through educational programs that help prevent death associated with sudden cardiac arrest. In its role as the Project ADAM South Florida affiliate, Nicklaus Children’s is committed to helping implement life-saving training and education programs at schools as well as community organizations.
“The recent cardiac episode experienced by NFL player Damar Hamlin has raised public awareness of the need to prepare for sudden cardiac arrest events,” said Matthew A. Love, president and CEO of Nicklaus Children’s Health System. “Sadly, emergencies like these are the leading cause of death in the United States, and children and adolescents are not excluded from this statistic. Education and planning for a cardiac emergency is key in saving lives. It is our privilege to work with Miami-Dade County Public Schools to help reduce mortality from sudden cardiac arrest.”
“Miami-Dade County Public Schools recognizes the importance of partnerships, such as the one with Nicklaus Children’s, in securing health and safety for all of our stakeholders. We are committed to expanding and promoting awareness of sudden cardiac arrest through the Project ADAM initiative,” said Luis Diaz, chief operating officer of Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Coaches and other staff from schools and organizations pursuing Project ADAM certification receive training that includes development of a site-specific response plan and practice drills. Participants learn how to perform CPR, how to use automated external defibrillators and gain familiarity with EMS services. Schools and facilities that complete the Project ADAM training receive a two-year certification.
In addition to representing Project ADAM locally, Nicklaus Children’s is also a leading advocate and provider of free EKG testing to identify children at risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The hospital has offered free EKG screenings to children and adolescents in the community since 2011, and has screened more than 46,000 children and identified 40 young people at risk of SCA. After a minimally invasive procedure, most are cleared to return to play their sport with peace of mind. The simple heart screening takes only a few minutes and can help detect a heart condition that may not be evident in a routine school or sports physical examination.
For more information on the hospital’s free EKG screenings program and to schedule a screening, visit www.nicklauschildrens.org/EKG.
To learn more and become a Project ADAM certified facility, visit www.nicklauschildrens.org/ProjectADAM.