AUSTIN -- The start of the new school year is just a week away for most Central Texas students. Heart Hospital of Austin offers CPR and AED training to several area schools. Hyde Park Baptist High School coaches and teachers have taken advantage of that instruction every year the program has been available.
Ryan Hull is looking forward to his senior year at Hyde Park High School both in the classroom and on the baseball field. The unmistakable ping of bat hitting ball is a sure sign Hull is making correct contact.
Just a few hundred feet away, the sound of an Automatic External Defibrillator or AED could be heard. Many of Hull's coaches and teachers were getting hands on CPR and AED training from nurses with Heart Hospital of Austin.
"We deal with so many students every day, both on the field and in the weight room, and in the halls of the school," said Dean Campbell, the Hyde Park athletic director and head football coach. "Even though we have a full-time nurse, you never know when or where a situation might occur."
"It can happen anywhere," said Virginia Remeny, a cardiovascular nurse specialist and education coordinator at Heart Hospital of Austin.
Remeny says only about 30 percent of all cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR.
"More than 80 percent of cardiac arrests occur outside of hospitals," said Remeny. "The more people we have trained, the better those people are going to have a chance of surviving."
Not all cardiac arrests can be fixed with a shock. The AED helps analyze the victim's heart rhythm. It gives coaches and teachers critical information they can pass along to the school nurse.
"When they call me to respond they're going to have assessed the situation accurately, and I'll be able to be more prepared," said Julie Cox, the Hyde Park HS campus nurse.
The training makes Hull more confident that his coaches, teachers and staff will know what to do if and when a cardiac episode happens to him or his classmates.
"It's very reassuring knowing all your teachers and coaches are trained," said Hull. "They can respond in the first few minutes, the most important minutes, of the cardiac arrest. It lets you not have to worry about that and focus on the game more."
Go here for more information on the Heart Hospital's AED and CPR training.