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Home » » Helping to Save Kids from Sudden Cardiac Arrest: WMCHealth’s Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital Urges Schools to Become “Heart Safe”

Helping to Save Kids from Sudden Cardiac Arrest: WMCHealth’s Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital Urges Schools to Become “Heart Safe”

Written By Editor on 2/23/22 | 2/23/22

More than 5,000 children suffer sudden cardiac arrest each year outside of a hospital setting, according to the American Heart Association. Pediatric cardiologists at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), are urging school districts to prepare for the possibility of a student experiencing sudden cardiac arrest on school grounds. To assist schools with a cardiac arrest preparedness plan, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital doctors are offering counseling and training by pediatric cardiologists as part of the national effort to certify schools as “Heart Safe.”   

Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital is the first hospital in New York State to become an affiliate of Project ADAM, a national community outreach program with a mission to provide schools with the knowledge, skills and equipment necessary to quickly identify cardiac arrest symptoms and administer on-site intervention. The early use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) during sudden cardiac arrest can improve survival* and Project ADAM and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital recommend that every school create sudden cardiac arrest preparedness plan that includes: 

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training for school staff, teachers, coaches, and students 

  • Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to provide rapid defibrillation in the event of sudden cardiac arrest caused by ventricular fibrillation, with ongoing maintenance plans and drills 

  • Drills to enhance staff familiarity, rapid on-site communication and practiced coordination with local Emergency Medical Services 

  • Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) for individual students known to be at risk. 

New York schools seeking “Heart Safe” training should contact Christa Miliaresis, MD, a pediatric cardiologist at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, at 914.493.8372Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital and Project ADAM will deem a school “Heart Safe” aftestaff training is complete and the school shows evidence of a functional, cardiac arrest preparedness plan that includes internal awareness effortsstaff CPR and AED training and successful demonstration of an emergency response to sudden cardiac arrest on school grounds. 

Project ADAM 
Project ADAM was named in memory of Adam Lemel, a 17-year-old Wisconsin athlete who died of sudden cardiac arrest.  Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital is one of 34 Project ADAM affiliated programs in the United States, according to Project ADAM. 

Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital Offers Comprehensive Care for Young Hearts 
The pediatric cardiology team at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital provides cardiac care for patients ranging from before birth through young adulthood. Referring physicians or families seeking a pediatric cardiology consultation should call 914.493.8372 to schedule an appointment and visit for service offerings and provider information. 

About Westchester Medical Center Health Network 
The Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) is a 1,700-bed healthcare system headquartered in Valhalla, New York, with 10 hospitals on eight campuses spanning 6,200 square miles of the Hudson Valley. WMCHealth employs more than 12,000 people and has nearly 3,000 attending physicians. The Network has Level 1, Level 2 and Pediatric Trauma Centers, the region’s only acute care children’s hospital, an academic medical center, several community hospitals, dozens of specialized institutes and centers, skilled nursing, assisted living facilities, homecare services and one of the largest mental health systems in New York State Today, WMCHealth is the pre-eminent provider of integrated healthcare in the Hudson Valley. For more information about WMCHealth, visit 

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