To enhance the medical safety and response at Ottawa Township High School (OTHS), Dr. David Chan, Director of Children’s Service Line for OSF HealthCare provided a presentation on the evidence based approach to cardiac events and the movement to readiness vs. screenings.
“Cardiac arrests in school age children are fortunately very low and it is recognized that many occur outside of the athletic setting, making present screening practices unable to identify every child who may be at risk,” Stated Dr. Chan. “As such, it is important to prepare the faculty to handle the unplanned event. This includes easy access to an AED, training to perform CPR, and to initiate the sequence of events to bring an advanced care team to the site in the shortest amount of time. It is our hope that by working with Ottawa Township High School, we can develop a protocol that can be adapted to other communities.”
During the presentation, OTHS faculty members, Eric Buscher and Trisha Modeen, reacting to a cardiac arrest simulation, provided chest compressions and demonstrated how to properly connect and use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). “A desired goal of our partnership with Ottawa Township High School is to assess and enable the faculty with the readiness and training needed to react to medical emergencies for a broad range of events and audiences,” stated Don Damron, FACHE, Vice President of Ambulatory Services for OSF HealthCare Saint Elizabeth Medical Center. “This partnership will continue to allow OSF HealthCare to deliver health care services in a new and innovative way.”
Ottawa Township High School makes emergency preparedness a priority through the establishment of emergency response plans that are reviewed with local law enforcement on an annual basis. Once reviewed, the faculty and students actively prepare, in the form of drills, on multiple occasions each school year. New enhancements now allow faculty and administration to communicate directly with emergency dispatch personnel throughout the school day and at extracurricular events. “We are constantly renewing and updating emergency plans throughout the building,” stated Jeff DeWalt, Assistant Principal of Ottawa Township High School. “Internal communication plans along with ongoing conversations with the Ottawa Police Department, Ottawa Fire Department, and OSF HealthCare ensure our facility is prepared in the case of an emergency.”