|| Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid
US high schools are increasingly adopting automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for use in campus settings. We analyzed the effectiveness of emergency response planning for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in a large cohort of US high schools that had onsite AED programs.A cohort of US high schools with at least 1 onsite AED was identified from the National Registry for AED Use in Sports. A school representative completed a comprehensive survey on emergency planning and provided details of any SCA incident occurring within 6 months of survey completion. Surveys were completed between December 2006 and July 2007. In total, 1710 high schools with an onsite AED program were studied. Although 83% (1428 of 1710) of schools have an established emergency response plan for SCA, only 40% practice and review the plan at least annually with potential school responders. A case of SCA was reported by 36 of 1710 schools (2.1%). The 36 SCA victims included 14 high school student athletes (mean age, 16 years; range, 14 to 17 years) and 22 older nonstudents (mean age, 57 years; range, 42 to 71 years) such as employees and spectators. No cases were reported in student nonathletes. Of the 36 SCA cases, 35 (97%) were witnessed, 34 (94%) received bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and 30 (83%) received an AED shock. Twenty-three SCA victims (64%) survived to hospital discharge, including 9 of the 14 student athletes and 14 of the 22 older nonstudents.School-based AED programs provide a high survival rate for both student athletes and older nonstudents who suffer SCA on school grounds. High schools are strongly encouraged to implement onsite AED programs as part of a comprehensive emergency response plan to SCA.