Kern High School District considers putting AEDs in all schools

There's a push to put AEDs in every school in the Kern High School District. This comes three months after a Centennial High School sophomore died from sudden cardiac arrest.

Automated External Defibrillators or AED's can save lives during an emergency. There's a push to put them in every school in the Kern High School District.

This comes three months after Centennial High School sophomore Caleb Hannink died from sudden cardiac arrest. If there was an AED at the school, Dr. Jared Salvo isn't sure it would have saved his patient, but it may have helped prolong Hannink's life, which is why the doctor and many others want AED's in our schools.

"The physician on duty had actually received a call from the ambulance which was en route saying, that they had a young boy who had a full arrest," said Dr. Salvo, a cardiac electrophysiologist at Bakersfield Heart Hospital.

That boy was 15-year-old Caleb Hannink whose heart stopped beating during gym class in November.

"We knew that the chances were not good," said Salvo.

Hannink was rushed to Bakersfield Heart Hospital.

"I describe it as a gut-wrenching experience," said Salvo.

Dr. Salvo and others tried to restart Hannink's heart, but it was too late.

"It's not an easy thing when you realize that there's no further medical care to regain a meaningful recovery," said Salvo.

Hannink's family gave Dr. Salvo permission to share his story because, he said, it's possible Caleb's death may have been prevented if Centennial High School had an automated external defibrillator.

"I can tell you if he had early access to a defibrillator, that probably would have offered him maybe an increased chance of survival, " said Salvo.

The Kern High School District is thinking of putting them in every high school.

"I'm very happy and I'm hopeful we can minimize the tragedy in our high schools," said Salvo.

To make AED's accessible within four minutes to every student, the district would purchase 135 to 175 AED's. That would cost the district up to $367,500 initially and up to $86,500 every year after.

It's a big investment, but Dr. Salvo thinks it will have a big payout.

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