We see it in the news far too often, a student is at practice, or playing in a game or just walking to class when they suddenly collapse and die from sudden cardiac arrest. When a tragedy like this happens, people often think there’s nothing they can do, but there is. Immediate treatment with CPR and an automated external defibrillator, before paramedics arrive, gives the victim the best chance for survival.
As a practicing cardiologist at Boston Medical Center and an advocate for the American Heart Association, I am writing to thank the legislature, especially Representative Alice Peisch, for ensuring that our schools will be prepared this fall with the requirement of Medical Emergency Response Plans.
Medical Emergency Response Plans will provide schools with effective and efficient communication throughout the school campus, coordinated and practiced response plan, training and equipment for first aid and CPR and implementation of a lay rescuer AED program in schools with an established need. The law will help Massachusetts schools save more lives and create stronger community awareness about the steps one must take in an emergency and how to effectively carry out the Medical Emergency Response Plan.
Gary J. Balady, MD
262 Weston Rd
Wellesley, MA 02482-4565