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High School Team Wins $10,000 in Portland Metro HeartMap

High School Team Wins $10,000 in Portland Metro HeartMap


Students from Hillsboro High School won the $10,000 grand prize in the Portland (Oregon) Metro HeartMap Challenge.  The check presentation was held May 1, 2015 at the Hillsboro Civic Center.  The ceremony included a presentation from Dr. Mohamud Daya, Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU), about cardiac arrest and the importance of early use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to improve survival.  Additional speakers included Chief McDaniel with the Hillsboro Fire Department, Jo Ann Broeckel Elrod from the University of Washington (co-sponsor of the contest), and Charles Harper, a recent survivor of sudden cardiac arrest whose life was saved by use of an AED. According to Dr. Daya, “survival from cardiac arrest is dependent on a strong chain of survival within communities.  A critical link in this chain is early defibrillation. By identifying the location and the use of AEDs in our community, this study will help identify ways to strengthen this important link in the chain of survival.”

The winning team, aptly named Avoiding Early Departure, consisted of student council representatives from Hillsboro High School. Together, they located and reported 1,031 unique AEDs within the four-county area surrounding Portland, Oregon.  These students, along with Sarah Cole, Hilhi's activities director, were present to receive their check.  Ms. Cole stated that the winnings will be used to purchase school t-shirts for spirit day, as the high school is located in an underprivileged area and not all students can afford the shirts, as well as toward scholarships for students to attend leadership camp this summer.  Bailey Woodin, the second place winner of $2,500, is a nursing student and indicated that she will apply her winnings toward tuition. Ms. Woodin located and reported 831 unique AEDs in the contest.

The challenge, sponsored by OHSU's Department of Emergency Medicine, the University of Washington, and the University of Pennsylvania enlisted citizens to help find and report AEDs located in public areas in the four-county metro area surrounding Portland.  The HeartMap Challenge, pioneered by Dr. Raina Merchant at the University of Pennsylvania, was first held in Philadelphia and identified over 1,500 AEDs in that city. The long-term goal of this project is to ensure safety of AEDs by examining their usage and effectiveness throughout the United States. Identified AEDs  are tagged with a two-dimensional matrix code, stored in an online Dynamic AED Registry, then maps are created and provided to laypersons and emergency services personnel so that locations of AEDs can be quickly given to bystanders needing AEDs.  This effort to improve public health is supported by the Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, MD; Cardiac Science Corp, Waukesha, WI; Heartsine Technologies Inc., Newtown, PA; Philips Healthcare Inc., Bothell, WA; Physio-Control Inc., Redmond, WA; and ZOLL Medical Corp., Chelmsford, MA.  “The FDA supports efforts that can improve sudden cardiac arrest survival rates through the use of registries like this one that link the location of AEDs with emergency responders and cardiac arrest victims,” said Benjamin C. Eloff, Ph.D., a senior scientific program manager in the division of epidemiology at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Such registries also help the agency better understand how AEDs are performing in the real world and may help the FDA and manufacturers proactively identify and address problems that might occur with AEDs.” 

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