• Project ADAM Sacramento

Project ADAM is committed to saving lives by empowering schools and communities to be prepared for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). It is not enough to simply have an automated external defibrillator (AED) in the building - having a documented plan, a designated and prepared response team, and a regularly practiced emergency response drill are critical to success. Project ADAM provides the foundation for schools to develop their program by providing resources, education and training. Project ADAM can help your school become a Heart Safe School.

Cardiac emergency preparedness is vital wherever people live and work. Project ADAM staff and volunteers facilitate CPR and AED education and hands-on training at a variety of community events throughout the year. Anyone can save a life by learning the two simple steps of Hands Only CPR - calling 911 and pushing down on the chest hard and fast until EMS arrives. According to the American Heart Association, CPR administered immediately, without waiting for help, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.

Established at UC Davis Children's Hospital in 2015, Project ADAM Sacramento is the first California affiliate of Project ADAM.

Project ADAM started in 1999 as a program for the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. Since then, it has expanded to 20 states with 25 affiliate programs at medical centers across the country, which has led to more than 150 lives saved on school campuses.

For more information about Project ADAM, contact Rebecca McCormac, coordinator for Project ADAM Sacramento, at  rmccormac@ucdavis.edu.

*** Don't miss our free youth heart screening on Aug. 27, 2022. ***

Project ADAM (Automated Defibrillators in Adam's Memory) began in 1999 following a series of sudden deaths among high school athletes in southeastern Wisconsin. The cause of death appeared to be Ventricular Fibrillation: heart arrest brought on by abnormal, sustained electrical stimulation of the heart muscle. The family and friends of one of these athletes, 17 year-old Adam Lemel of Whitefish Bay High School, joined together with the Children's Hospital and Health System of Wisconsin to start Project ADAM in his memory. Project ADAM's mission is to help schools nationwide start and sustain a Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) program.

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a portable electronic device which, when properly applied, automatically diagnoses potentially life-threatening heart rhythms, The AED decides whether or not a shock is needed, then delivers a shock to restore normal heart rhythm.

AEDs are used to treat Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). When SCA occurs, the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating, cutting off blood flow to the brain and other vital organs. SCA is fatal if not treated immediately. Having access to an AED can save the life of somebody having a SCA during those critical first few minutes.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the leading cause of death for student athletes, and the cause of more than 320,000 total deaths in the United States every year.  Since 20% of a community is in a school on any given day, a focus on cardiac emergency response preparedness in schools is critical.  Every minute without cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation decreases a person’s chances of survival by 7 to 10 percent.  Is your school ready to act?

  • Are AEDs easily located and would responders be able to find them without direction?
  • Is the AED checked regularly for expired pads and batteries?
  • Is there a designated team of CPR/AED certified staff ready to respond? Who will administer CPR? Who will call 911 and meet EMS when they arrive? Who will get the AED?
  • Does the school conducted regular drills to ensure wasted time in minimized and that potential responders feel confident and prepared?

Project ADAM's Heart Safe Schools program focuses on the core elements of SCA awareness: cardiac emergency response plans and cardiac emergency response drills.  We work with schools to get the training and resources for a CPR/AED program in place to ensure that they can handle cardiac emergencies and save lives. Project ADAM Sacramento can help your school become a Heart Safe School.

What is a Project ADAM Heart Safe School?

  • AEDs are available and accessible.
  • There is a written emergency response plan and a team of CPR/AED trained staff ready to act in an emergency.
  • The school conducts regular cardiac emergency response practice drills.

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Implementing a CPR and AED program has a positive effect on a community's health and wellbeing. Besides facilitating greater community awareness of AED use, it also fosters a holistic approach to community health education about preventive measures for future emergency situations. Initiating a PAD program requires significant amount of resources and community cohesiveness, including participation/support from school administration, staff and students, as well as parents, medical professionals, emergency services and community organizations. Project ADAM Sacramento aims to assist schools and communities with this process.