It's high school football season!
But even though many of the Falls fans are looking forward to a beating on the gridiron, no one wants to see a player or fan get hurt. Sudden cardiac arrest claims more than 425,000 lives every year. It is the leading cause of death in young athletes.
Stories about players collapsing on the field continue to snag national headlines. One community recently learned the importance of having an automatic electronic defibrillator or A.E.D on the field. It saved a 13 year old boy's life during a scrimmage in Tennessee. Texas has long been the leader in making sure these lifesaving devices are accessible to athletes and Texoma is no exception.
According to Sonja Oliver, School Nurse for the Archer City Independent School District, "we're seeing more, unfortunately, students, athletes having cardiac problems."
Problems that can lead to cardiac arrest or even death. But while these football players are practicing their plays, Texoma school employees are perfecting another strategy to save lives.
An Automatic Electronic Defibrillator or A.E.D can shock a stopped heart into beating again, when a person doesn't have a pulse. The small design of A.E.Ds make the system very portable and give the school system resources necessary to treat a patient, even before an ambulance arrives. Which matters when seconds can mean the difference between life or death.
"The sooner that you can get life saving methods started, the better their chance of survival," says Oliver.
Every Texas school has AED's readily available just in case a student is in need. And in Archer city, all coaches and the majority of the faculty are trained to save lives.
"We are as trained as we can be," says Oliver, "We are as covered as we can be here in our school system to take care of the child. We're going to do the absolute best that we can do."
According to Nurse Oliver, no one should be afraid of using an AED.
"It's ok. you open it up and it is going to tell you exactly what to do," says Oliver, "Don't be afraid of using an AED. That could be that person's best chance for survival is this AED. Don't be afraid of it. They are wonderful, they tell you exactly what to do, you cannot go wrong using one."
Nurse Oliver also explained that there are some people who are at a higher risk for ever needing an AED. People with high fat or high sodium diets are at risk as well as those who are obese.
All Texas schools are required to have AEDs easily accessible to students and faculty.