By Shelby Stewart
In the event of a cardiac emergency, Goodrich High School is prepared.
GHS is one of 369 schools in Michigan, and one of 35 schools in Genesee County, that has been given the MI HEARTSafe designation by the Michigan Departments of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).
The MI HEARTSafe designation is a statewide collaborative network that strives to prevent sudden cardiac death of the young. The district first received the designation in 2015 and is set to renew the certification in 2019. Public Act 12 of 2014 requires all schools, kindergarten through twelfth grade, to have a cardiac emergency response plan in place.
“It’s just another example of a safety device,” said Ryan Relken, Goodrich district superintendent who added the designation includes all of the best protocols for a medical emergency.
“It’s not just for athletes either,” he said. “It’s for the grandparents watching in the audience and the young people who don’t get any symptoms. We have such a new team together and the program provides such simple ways to meet all of the qualifications.”
To receive this designation, the school must meet six criteria:
There must be a written cardiac emergency response plan in place, which must be reviewed at least once a year with the staff; The school has to have a cardiac emergency response team with current CPR and AED certifications, sufficient enough to respond to an emergency during school and after school activities and sports; At least 10 percent of staff, 50 percent of coaches and 100 percent of head coaches and physical education staff have to have a current completion of CPR/AED certification course; Enough AED units that are properly maintained and inspected, with signs identifying the locations placed within 2-5 minutes from any point in the school; There must be at least one cardiac emergency response drill per year, including recognizing the signs of sudden cardiac arrest and using the American Heart Association’s Chain of Survival: Calling 911 and a bystander performing CPR/using an AED until help arrives; All athletes have to have pre-participation screening completed with the Michigan High School Athletic Association form.
Angela Minicuci is the MDHHS public information officer emphasized the importance of the designation.
“In the event of an emergency, get someone doing chest compressions,” she said.
“Then get someone using an AED (automated external defibrillator) as soon as possible. The best chance is in the 2 to 5 minute range.”
By Shelby Stewart