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Developing a cardiac emergency response plan

Michigan law now requires that schools have a written cardiac emergency response plan. A cardiac emergency response plan includes recognizing the signs of sudden cardiac arrest, calling
9-1-1, and initiating the use of CPR and AED until local EMS arrives. Questions to consider in developing a cardiac emergency response plan:

  • What defines a cardiac emergency?
  • What are the signs of sudden cardiac arrest?
  • How will the emergency response team and EMS be activated?
  • What are the roles of the responders?
  • How will students be managed?
The following documents were created by the Michigan Alliance for Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death of the Young (MAP-SCDY) to assist Michigan schools with a written cardiac emergency plan template. These samples may be modified for use at your school, and should be reviewed by the appropriate legal counsel for your school. These additional resources created by national organizations may also be helpful to schools developing a cardiac emergency response plan:
  • American Heart Association's Be the Beat program

    Be the Beat is an online Sudden Cardiac Arrest awareness initiative to teach teens all across the country the simple steps that can save a life -- and create the next generation of lifesavers. Please watch the HANDS-ONLYTM CPR video.
  • Anyone Can Save a Life- A comprehensive emergency (SCA) response program for after-school practices and events.
  • Project ADAM Videos to assist schools to be prepared for cardiac emergency (available in English and Spanish)

Cardiac Emergency Response Drills

The following resources contain information about how to conduct cardiac emergency response drills.
  • Drill Dr. Heart - Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association's plan to prepare for sudden cardiac arrest
  • Save-A-Life Simulator - Video simulation of sudden cardiac arrest in a public setting and appropriate response
  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association's "Keep it Beating" Program - An educational program in two 45 minute sessions to raise awareness of SCA and the importance of bystander response