Wednesday, November 30, 2005

High School Student Saved By Physical Education Teachers

11/30/2005 6:00 PM
(Katrina Irwin, WROC-TV)

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Three years ago Thursday, a state law went into effect, requiring automated external defibrillators inside schools. Since then 19 people have been saved. The most recent on Tuesday when a 16-year-old high school student in Naples collapsed during gym class. To watch the WROC-TV news report, use the links under the picture of the AED. Select "High" if you have DSL or cable modem, or select "Low" if you have a dial-up connection.

"He was feeling a little dizzy, sat down, was feeling a little better, got up and took about three steps and collapsed," says Courtney Conrad. She and two other teachers in the gym immediately put their first responder training to good use.

"It was scary for all of us, I mean we try to keep our cool as much as possible. Overall you're really scared when something like that happens," says Frank Gleichauf.

They administered CPR, called 9-1-1 and ran for the schools automated external defibrillator, or AED. It's a machine similar to this one that instructs people about how to give a life-saving shock to the heart.

Conrad says, "it said analyzing and it said shock advised and I shocked. And it was terrifying, but on the other hand after two shocks we had a weak pulse, but a pulse. And weak breathing but breathing and it was a huge relief."

A couple years ago the state required all school districts to have these AED machines, at the time some said complained about the unfunded mandate. But nobody's complaining here in Naples anymore."

Superintendent Brenda Keith says, "No one is complaining at all. In fact we're looking at assessing all our buildings to know whether we have enough of the AED's in place."

This was the first time an AED has been used at the Naples school district.

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