Life Saving Devices in Local Schools

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It was a scare this past fall on the A&M Consolidated High School football field that has school officials thinking about safety.

In September, a Westlake High School football player passed out during the game and was saved by a defibrillator.

Since then both Bryan and College Station Independent School Districts have added more life saving machines to their campuses.

In the past two days Bryan I.S.D. has made dozens of heart saving deliveries.
Through federal aid and one donation, the school district now has 28 defibrillators.

"I think there is the element of having them on campus that makes them feel safe," Ronnie O'Neal with the Bryan Independent School District said. "We hope that we never have to use them, but now that we have them if there is a cardiac emergency, we have them available."

There are four at Bryan High, one each at Hammond-Oliver and Lamar, two at each of the middle school campuses, and one on each elementary campus.

"The response has been overwhelmingly positive," O'Neal said. "Not only from our nurses, but our administrators as well as our parents."

When Westlake High School student Matt Nader collapsed on the football field this past fall, it was a defibrillator that saved his life.

"It brought attention to the issue, but it also brought attention to the issue of heart disease with students," College Station Independent School District Superintendent Eddie Coulson said. "It brought the issue of the need for school districts to have those."

College Station has a total of eight life saving machines, some at the high school and middle schools.

"As a district we have added to our AED's substantially during the course of the past several months," Coulson said.

C.S.I.S.D. has yet to put the machines in the elementary and intermediate schools, saying they are waiting on pending legislation.

In October, Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst said there are only about 600 schools that have defibrillators.

His hope is to soon have all school districts resembling Bryan and College Station, all ready for an emergency.

The portable machines cost $1400 each.
Both school districts have trained specific staff how to use the machines.
Nurses, coaches, and administration are among those trained on the defibrillators.