logo

Saving & Improving lives since 1996

Schools

A student diagnosed with HCM may need a 504 plan to ensure that any necessary modifications and accommodations are made so that they may perform at the same level as their peers. This may include additional time to get to classes, alternate activities for gym, or restrictive activities during gym to specify just a few. All plans will vary based on severity of HCM, school setup, age etc. The article here within, is a guideline to assist you in advocating for your child in their school environment.  Addtional information on 504 plans can be found to the left.

Other considerations for schools:
Automatic External Defibrillators (AED):  In many states, but not all, AED's are required in public schools by law.   Efforts are underway in other states to ensure ALL states have legislation to ensure AED's are eventually in every public school. Private schools may or may not be required by law to have AED's. You will want to ask the school administration in these cases.

It is very important to remember: if your child has been diagnosed with HCM, and evaluated by an HCM specialist (in addition to a community cardiologist), and an implantable defibrillator was found to be needed due to high risk of sudden cardiac arrest, you would be advised to follow that recommendation. AED's are needed in the small event a child (or staff member / visitor) experiences a cardiac arrest on the grounds of the school. The HCMA would like to see every school in the United States and elsewhere not only have an AED but an emergency action plan in place for sudden cardiac arrest.  

Is having an AED in a school enough?  
No, a box on a wall is not enough to ensure that those in the building are protected.  A maintenance program is critical to ensure that the battery is operating properly, the pads have not dried out and that the alarm system (if there is one) is operating properly.  In addition we highly recommend sudden cardiac arrest drills be adopted by all school systems to ensure that all have knowledge and are comfortable with how to respond in the event of a cardiac emergency.  The graph below shows the total number of deaths per 100 million lives in the United States from 3 causes: fire, gun related activity, and out of hospital sudden cardiac arrest (all causes).  In all schools, fire drills are conducted; in most schools, "armed invader" drills are conducted; in very few schools in 2015 are sudden cardiac arrest drills conducted. 

 

A fact sheet on these statistics can be accessed here.