Little Rock Schools to Get AEDs


 
 

Doug Crise | | Friday, February 1, 2008


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The death of Little Rock Parkview basketball player Antony Hobbs has turned the lack of on-site defibrillators at athletic events into an official cause.

For the moment, everybody's listening.

The Little Rock School District will be purchasing five automated external defibrillators, which will be on hand at sports events for the district's five high schools: Parkview, Hall, Central, McClellan and Fair.

The announcement was made at a Wednesday news conference at Parkview High School, which was attended by Hobbs' parents, Marcia and Antony Sr.

Hobbs died Jan. 2 after collapsing during the early minutes of a home basketball game against Lake Hamilton. State medical examiner Charles Kokes said the cause of death was hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition that involves the abnormal thickening of areas of the heart.

In Hobbs' case, death likely was caused by the thickness of the heart disrupting the electrical impulses that are sent from the brain to regulate heartbeat. Immediate defibrillation can reset those impulses in certain cases and has been statistically proved to increase a patient's chance for survival.

AEDs are portable devices designed to administer electrical shocks to the heart and ideally can be employed by anyone after a short period of training.

Without an AED available at Parkview's Ripley Arena, Hobbs went without defibrillation for several minutes before paramedics arrived.

The cost of the five AEDs will be footed by Arkansas Specialty Orthopedics as part of an initiative called The Antony Hobbs Project. Jimmy Tucker, an orthopedic surgeon with Arkansas Specialty Orthopedics, said the district's high schools are just the beginning of a larger push.

Tucker has been working with Lance Taylor, executive director of the Arkansas Activities Association, on ways to have AEDs available to all schools statewide.

"Our goal is to have one of these in every school out there," Taylor said.

Achieving that goal will require deep pockets. Tucker said an individual AED can cost $1,500, though the units can be as low as $900 if bought "in bulk." The AAA doesn't have the power to require school districts to have AEDs on-site, and any action from the state legislature would first require freeing up enough money from the state's budget to purchase the units.

Until that happens, Tucker plans to aggressively pursue other avenues.

"It's going to need private donations, and it's going to need corporate support," Tucker said.

Tayloralso said the AAA is discussing adding AED training to its requirements for coaching certification.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Cardiac and Circulation

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee County EMS Shows Off CPR Tool

Lucas 2 in service in Bradley County.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Abilene Loses Helicopter Service

Native Air leaves city with only one air helicopter service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire Chief Proposes another Controversial Ambulance Plan

Staffing change will leave immediate neighborhood without fire apparatus.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

FDIC 2014 CHAT: MIKE MCEVOY AND A.J. HEIGHTMAN

Mike McEvoy and A.J. Heightman discuss some new EMS technology at FDIC 2014.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >