Reporting Mary Bubala
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — On Tuesday, 10 middle schools in Baltimore City received a lifesaving donation. It comes in a small red box.
As Mary Bubala reports, it’s a huge help for a student athlete if something goes wrong with his/her heart.
Each year, 3,000 young people– mainly student athletes– die from sudden cardiac arrest.
The deaths most often happen during rigorous physical activity. There are usually no symptoms, and it’s likely genetic.
“Just because you are young, you are healthy, you are a two-sport athlete, does not mean that you don’t have a heart condition. You could have a heart condition,” said Dr. Theodore Abraham, Johns Hopkins cardiologist.
Doctors and leaders from Johns Hopkins Hospital spoke with students Tuesday at Dunbar High School as they announced the donation of automated external defibrillators (AED) to 10 Baltimore City middle schools.
The Israel and Mollie Myers Foundation gave $10,000 to fund the AED donation.
“We hope the defibrillators never need to be used, and at the same time we are secure in knowing they will be available on site if they are needed,” said Jon Myers, Israel & Mollie Myers Foundation
Hopkins calls its initiative Heart Hype. It includes screening young athletes.
So far, more than 1,000 young people have been looked at by Hopkins. Several needed immediate medical attention. Others need to be monitored.
Now the defibrillators, which shock the heart back to normal rhythm, will be there because it’s impossible to screen everyone.
And it will be available to those on the sidelines too.
“It’s really there, not so much for you, it’s for your parents who get hyper watching a game,” Myers said with a smile.
Last year, an AED was used on a high school referee.
Most city high schools already have them, and all coaches have to be certified in their lifesaving use.
Each year, 300,000 cases of sudden cardiac arrest occur in the United States.