TAI in the News
Our third community-wide training on Saturday, February 20-21, 2010
at the Methodist Training Center was another great success.
Thanks everyone for a job well done.
Our second community-wide training on Saturday, June 27, 2009,
at the U of H Alumni Center was a great success.
Thanks to all our volunteers for a job well done.
Thank you for participating!
As published on August 10th, 2006 on the Houston ISD website.
The HISD Board of Education accepted a donation of 300 automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) from the Texas Arrhythmia Institute at its regular monthly meeting on August 10, so that every HISD campus will get at least one of the devices, which detect abnormal heart rhythms and work to restore them to a normal rate if needed.
The donation is expected to make Houston the largest American city with full deployment of defibrillators in its school system. Already 75 HISD schools have AEDs available to improve the response to medical emergencies. Studies have shown that timely access to these devices significantly increases the chance that a heart-attack victim will survive.
"This wonderful donation will offer our schools an additional tool to help ensure the safety of our students and also our employees," said HISD Health and Medical Director Evelyn Henry, R.N., MSN.
The donation, valued at $650,000, includes training for nurses and other school officials.
"This is a rare gift that's being provided with the hope that it's never needed, but we also hope it will make a difference and help save a life if it is ever used at a school," said Harriet Schubb, executive director for the Texas Arrhythmia Institute.
The endowment was presented by Schubb and Dr. Valentina Ugolini, former wife of Dr. Antonio Pacifico, who founded the Texas Arrhythmia Institute and played a major part in the development of new treatments for heart-rhythm disturbances.
On August 10, 2006, Houston area schools received 300 automatic external defibrillators from the Texas Arrhythmia Institute. These life saving devices are easy to use and can be operated by an adult with minimal amount of training. While many cases of young athletes suffering sudden cardiac death have been reported in recent years, these defibrillators are important for students, staff, and visitors to Houston schools.
The defibrillators deliver an electrical shock to the heart to restore a normal beating rhythmn. Widely known for helping people survive heart attacks, the defibrillator can be valuable for other life-threatening heart conditions as well. In many cases when someone suffering from an appropriate heart condition is restored to normal rhythmn within minutes the additional damage from the condition can be minimalized, and many can continue to live a normal life. Dr. Nadim Nasir Jr. describes the importance of having these defibrillators available, "Though the scope of the problem is not large, the magnitude of an isolated situation is terrible. When a young person dies unexpectedly and dies suddenly without any obvious cause, it creates a significant trauma to the collective psyche of the school and the population at large."
As published in the August 5th, 2006 edition of the Houston Chronicle
School nurses are being trained to use 300 devices donated by facility
By MELANIE MARKLEY
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle
Every Houston Independent School District campus will soon be equipped with a defibrillator, the easy-to-use devices that have saved the lives of cardiac arrest victims at airports, golf courses and other public places in recent years.
The 300 donated automatic external defibrillators, valued in total at about $650,000, will be distributed to HISD schools as soon as the campuses send their nurses and other key personnel to training sessions beginning next month.
The school board is expected to accept the donation from the Texas Arrhythmia Institute next week.
"This is just the most fantastic thing that has happened to us as far as I'm concerned, healthwise," said Evelyn Henry, HISD's health and medical director.
Officials believe the donation will make HISD the largest American school district to outfit all of its schools with defibrillators.
A growing number of area schools, including 75 already in HISD, are equipping their campuses with defibrillators, which are potentially life-saving devices used to shock a heart and restore its normal beating rhythm. They are simple enough to be used by adults with little medical training.
Cypress-Fairbanks, for example, outfitted all of its schools with defibrillators a few years ago.
A nonprofit called Courtney's Crusade also has been donating defibrillators to Houston-area schools. That organization was named after Courtney VanCronkhite, who died in August 1999 from sudden cardiac arrest.
Dr. Nadim Nasir Jr., a cardiologist and senior researcher for the Houston-based Texas Arrhythmia Institute, said that while schools may seldom have a need for a defibrillator, the device's life-saving potential can be critical not only for students, but for staff members and visitors as well.
In the past few years, several student athletes have died suddenly of cardiac arrest that was caused by genetic heart defects. Often, if people with such a condition can be resuscitated within minutes of the collapse, he said, they can go on to live a normal life.
"Though the scope of the problem is not large, the magnitude of an isolated situation is terrible," said Nasir, who is medical director of the electrophysiology laboratory at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center. "When a young person dies unexpectedly and dies suddenly without any obvious cause, it creates a significant trauma to the collective psyche of the school and the population at large."
Lamar High School nurse Fran Carroll understands the value of a defibrillator all too well. Late last year, Carroll was alerted that a man who was jogging on their school track had collapsed from an apparent heart attack. She grabbed the defibrillator and ran.
"Thank God we had it, and we used it, and it saved his life," said Carroll, who still cherishes the orchid that the man brought her after his recovery.
Harriet Schubb, executive director of the Texas Arrhythmia Institute, said the defibrillators are being donated in memory of the institute's founder, Dr. Antonio Pacifico, who died in a plane crash last year.
She said the institute also is planning to donate defibrillators to the Spring Branch school district and to private schools in Houston.