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Livingston Elementary School is officially a “Heart Safe School.” School principal Shari Thomas and school nurse Martha Arnold facilitated the implementation of this very important school-wide program, which could one day help save the life of a student.

Pediatric sudden cardiac arrest happens without warning. The sudden loss of heart function affects 600 to 1,000 children and adolescents and 350,000 adults every year in the United States. In the past five school years, at least 15 students and 12 adults have died from probable sudden cardiac arrest in Georgia schools.

 Fortunately, since December 2007, there have been 36 saves in Georgia--36 people (13 students and 23 adults) alive today because their school personnel were prepared and had practiced their medical emergency response. 

Project S.A.V.E. (Sudden Cardiac Death: Awareness, Vision for Prevention and Education) was created to educate school systems sudden cardiac death, making them aware of the incidence, and the need for a timely response.

Schools that complete the checklist for Project SAVE indicating that their school has a quality Automated external defibrillator (AED) implementation program in place to prevent sudden cardiac death are recognized by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta as “Heart-Safe” Schools.  Heart-safe schools also participate in important statewide and national research about prevention of sudden cardiac death by completing a confidential incident report.  The report is sent to Project SAVE staff whenever an AED is used in an emergency.  Upon completion of the incident report, Project SAVE replaces or provides reimbursement to the school for electrode pads for the A.E.D.

“It is our goal to have every school in our district certified as a Heart-Safe School,” said RaNae Fendley, Director of Student Services for Newton County Schools. “Congratulations to Livingston Elementary School for earning this very important certification.”

For more information, contact Ms. Sherri Davis-Viniard, Director of Public Relations for Newton County Schools, at