Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Hamilton County students are prepared annually for the event of fires, tornadoes and intruders but not for medical emergencies.
Parkridge Hospital is partnering with local schools to change that.
Registered Nurse Tammie Crowder is helping local school personnel learn how to deal with medical emergencies, create a code blue plan for medical emergencies that occur in the school and then provide drills for students and faculty.
“Two teachers in the past three years have had cardiac arrests in schools without defibrillators and died in front of their students,” said Crowder. “And this year there have been two students who had cardiac arrests and were resuscitated, so it’s apparent that the schools need the plan.”
So far, Loftis Middle, Ganns Middle Valley Elementary, Nolan Elementary, Hixson High School, Hillcrest Elementary and Woodmore Elementary have participated in the program.
During Crowder’s presentation she discusses heart disease and stroke, CPR and gives people the opportunity to practice CPR techniques. The hospital provides dinner for participants, which makes it easier for them to attend, said Crowder.
“Parkridge empowers me to be able to work with the community,” she said. “It’s so much easier for people to get [to the class] when they don’t have to worry about dinner or have to eat before coming. They [Parkridge] really try to make it a user-friendly experience.”
Parkridge representative Alison Counts said teaching others how to perform lifesaving techniques is the hospital’s most important aspect of community outreach.
“Medical emergencies can — and do — happen anywhere at any time, which is why it is so important for nonmedical personnel to receive CPR and AED training,” she said. “The more people we have walking around with this knowledge, the better chance a person in our community has of surviving a cardiac arrest or other adverse medical event.”
Fully implementing a code blue medical emergency plan for a school can take time, but Crowder said it’s important to start developing the plan and understanding the different components of handling a medical emergency. In those situations, seconds can be the difference in a life saved or lost, she said.
For more information, contact the hospital at 622-6848.