Mother calls for expanded defibrillator training in schools

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Only nurses and coaches are currently required to be trained in Texas on automated external defibrillators, or AEDs.

When Terri Lucas’ son Kevin collapsed in the hall at Pfllugerville High School, she said nobody knew what to do so students ran and go the nurse.

“Within the 3-4 minutes it took for the nurse to get back, Kevin’s chances of survival dropped 40-50 percent,” said Lucas.

Those minutes and seconds, Lucas said, cost her son his life. That’s why Lucas is supporting Senate Bill 382 requiring more teachers get trained on the devices.

“They’re the ones that are there to handle these emergencies,” said Lucas. A former teacher at Pflugerville Middle School, Lucas said she’s talking from experience. “I actually saved a student at our school, a 6th grader who went into sudden cardiac arrest.”

She said her examples makes the training worth it, adding she is surprised requirements like these are not already in place.

“There’s no downside. How much does it cost? A few hours of time. What’s it worth? A child’s life,” said Lucas.

If passed by the legislature and signed into law, the training would go into effect this September.

Nearly 360,000 Americans go into cardiac arrest every year, and less than 10 percent survive. But AED’s are can improve that rate. Nearly 40 percent of cardiac arrest victims survive when rescuers have ready access to a defibrillator.

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