WEST CHESTER (February 15) – State Senator Andy Dinniman will soon introduce a bill to place AED’s (automated external defibrillators) in all public school buildings in Pennsylvania.
Dinniman said his aim is to reduce the number of young lives lost to sudden cardiac arrest, which is estimated at nearly 2,000 a year by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The American Heart Association has estimated that without use of an AED, more than 95 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital. The National Center for Early Difibrillation states that the survival rate soars to 90 percent if an AED is used within one minute of sudden cardiac arrest and remains at 74 percent if a shock from an AED is delivered within the first three minutes.
“AED’s save lives. Fortunately, some schools already have AED’s that have saved the lives of students such as Blair Allen of Villa Maria Academy in Malvern,” Dinniman said.
In September Allen suffered sudden cardiac arrest and collapsed while running on her school’s track. Fortunately, a school trainer had an AED nearby, and it was used twice to shock Ms. Allen’s heart back to beating. Ms. Allen has recovered and has spoken about the need for AED’s in schools.
Dinniman said, “Ms. Allan’s story is so important for it shows that our schools need to be equipped with AED’s so that if and when any children suffer sudden cardiac arrest, as Ms. Allan did, there is a much, much better chance they will survive.”
Senator Dinniman is being aided by Christy and Steve Silva, the parents of Aidan Silva.
“Nothing will ever take away the pain of losing our seven-year old son, Aidan, to sudden cardiac arrest. But we also cannot bear the thought of another family suffering a loss like ours,” Mr. Silva said on Friday. “We were encouraged by the Commonwealth’s passage last year of Act 59, which mandated that all student-athletes who display symptoms of SCA be removed from practice or competition until cleared by a doctor, and all trainers, coaches, and officials be trained to recognize those symptoms.”
“Now, we are thrilled to be working with Senator Dinniman to further that protection of our kids with ‘Aidan’s Law,’ which would ensure that all public schools have at least one AED on site to save a child’s life should, God forbid, another of our state’s kids fall victim to SCA.”
On Wednesday, when Senator Dinniman circulated Aidan’s Law with his fellow senators, the Silvas began a petition campaign to encourage Pennsylvanians to urge their state senators to support Aidan’s Law. The Silva’s collected nearly 1,500 signatures in the first 48 hours of the petition.