North Charleston school holds drills for cardiac emergencies
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Ever since Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest last month, there has been a renewed focus to educate people on how to respond to a similar event. Some Lowcountry schools are making sure they are ready if the scary moment ever comes.
The Emergency Response Team at R.B. Stall High School in North Charleston simulated what they would do if someone went into cardiac arrest on Friday afternoon. Faculty and staff simulated calling 911, administering CPR and using the school’s Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
Friday’s drill was a partnership between the Charleston County School District and the Project Adam team at MUSC.
“It can be anybody, anywhere. It can be children; and so we need to have that plan in place,” Nurse Tara Lawson, project ADAM program coordinator at MUSC Children’s Hospital, said.
South Carolina is one of 15 states that require an AED in every school. But medical professionals say it is not enough to just have one on the wall.
“You don’t want to be scrambling when an incident happens,” Lawson said.
The goal is for every school in Charleston County to run a drill like this. The district said they will start with high schools and then move to middle and elementary schools.
“The faster that you can have CPR and an AED [in] place, the better the outcomes are,” Dr. Nicole Cain, MUSC director of pediatric electrophysiology, said. “Every second counts. We say time is muscle.”
R.B. Stall High School Nurse Kat Bouziane said the school has been forward-thinking in their emergency preparedness, but partnering with MUSC and Project Adam brings extra planning:
“It demonstrates to our community, the motivation, our sense of responsibility and commitment to providing a safe schoolhouse for our students, families and staff,” Bouziane said.
MUSC’s work with Project Adam began three years ago, and interest has increased in the last few weeks.
The goal is to certify every school in the state.
“I personally have a kindergartener in school,” Lawson said. “So I want him to be in the best place possible if he’s not with me. That people are going to know how to respond in case of an emergency.”
A life-saving drill, winning hearts and minds.
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