At age 11, Malia Benn heard about a teacher at her school collapsing after playing basketball. He went into cardiac arrest and his heart stopped beating. Thankfully, he was brought back to life with the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) that was readily available on campus. Malia discovered that most schools in Hawaii do not have AEDs. This inspired her to start the HeartStart Hawaii Foundation to ensure that every Hawaii school has AEDs and CPR training in hopes that countless lives can be saved.
It is estimated that 20% of Hawaii’s population is on a school campus each day. By arming our schools with these lifesaving skills and equipment, we will increase our odds of making a real impact in our community.
Facts About Sudden Cardiac Arrest
What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) occurs when the heart’s electrical system abruptly malfunctions and the heart suddenly stops beating normally. SCA is often confused with a heart attack, which typically happens when blocked arteries prevent blood from reaching the heart’s muscles.
How many people are affected by SCA?
There are nearly 300,000 occurrences of out-of-hospital SCA each year – most of them fatal.
The key to saving those who suffer SCA?
The right treatment in a timely manner. SCA victims must receive CPR to increase blood flow to the heart and brain, as well as electrical shock from a defibrillator to stop the abnormal heart rhythm. For every minute without CPR and defibrillation, chances of survival decrease by 7-10%. This is why increasing the number of those trained in CPR and access to defibrillators is critical.
It is estimated that 20% of the State’s population is on a school campus each day. By training school children in CPR and providing defibrillators on campus, we will increase our ability save lives now and for years to come.