Cardiac screenings to benefit the community, while helping to raise funds for life-saving devices in Dysart Schools, will be held this weekend.
Sonoran Heights Middle School, 11405 N. Greer Ranch, is offering a cardiac screening event, hosted by the Anthony Bates Foundation. This school is working to purchase an automatic electronic defibrillator.
The event takes place 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25.
Anyone can sign up 5 years and older. The cost is $45 for students and $95 for adults and can register at anthonybates.org/events.
Dustin Hamman, Sonoran Heights Middle School principal, said this event was set up prior to the cardiac arrest incident with Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin, who suffered cardiac arrest after a hit in a Monday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
But Hamman said the timing is good because most of the community is aware of what happened, as medical personnel revived Hamlin on the field and the game eventually was canceled.
Kelly Davidson, health service assistant, said this event highlighted the need to have an AED device on campus so staff can be prepared if it ever happens at schools.
“Health and wellness are also important to provide opportunities to families that may not be as aware of this health screening,” Hamman said.
Having an AED on campus allows school officials to provide first aid before first responders arrive.
Sharon Bates, foundation founder, lost her son Anthony during a cardiac event.
“It is very addicting to save a life, and once you save one there are so many others out there and I can’t stop,” she said.
Bates said these efforts began more than 20 years ago and more than 1.3 million people have been screened. But she said there are 74 million children in the country so that number is not as high as it may seem.
Bates said COVID has caused numbers in screenings to skyrocket. Before COVID, there was a 10% abnormality rate and now it is 36%.
“There used to be 1% to 2% life-threatening abnormalities, and now it is close to 6%,” Bates said.
Renee Ryon, Dysart Schools director of communications, said all of the high schools currently have an AED on site and district officials are working to find funding sources to add them to all Dysart schools.
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