A Message From The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation

Message From The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation - Photo by William MoreeWe see it in the news far too often: A student is at football practice, or playing lacrosse, or just walking to class when he suddenly collapses and dies from sudden cardiac arrest. When a tragedy like this happens, people often think there’s nothing they can do. But there is: Immediate treatment—before paramedics arrive—with cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, and an automated external defibrillator, or AED, gives the victim the best chance at life.

Schools exist for the purpose of preparing young people for life. Doesn’t it make sense that schools themselves should be prepared to save a life?

You Can Save a Life at School is more than the title of this publication. It represents the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation’s message to schools nationwide: You have the power— and the moral responsibility—to protect the lives of your students, your faculty members, your staff and your visitors. With simple preparation, you can save a life at school.

This publication relates the story of Kaitlin Forbes, a student who suffered sudden cardiac arrest in gym class at her high school in Rhinebeck, N.Y. Kaitlin lived because of the preparation and quick actions of her teachers, school nurse and fellow students. But preparation often can be traced to tragedy: You’ll also read how Karen and John Acompora, after losing their son Louis to SCA at age 14, channeled their grief into a mission to help schools prepare to save lives. Their efforts helped save Kaitlin’s life.

Implementing an SCA program at your school isn’t difficult, but it does take work. The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation makes it easier for you with useful information from successful school programs (check out “Building a Heart-Safe School”). You’ll also find helpful ideas and checklists throughout this website.

Why wait for a tragedy? Implement an SCA program at your school now. You may just save a life—and better yet, by teaching students lifesaving skills, you’ll help build a generation of citizens who are ready, willing and able to help whenever SCA strikes.


Mary M. Newman President Mary M. Newman
Bobby V. Khan, M.D., Ph.D. Chair Bobby V. Khan, M.D., Ph.D.



I Survived SCA in an Elementary School with an AED