Students, staff, and visitors at all Mission Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) schools will have a better chance of surviving a cardiac arrest because the campuses have taken the necessary steps to be recognized a Heart Safe School. Mission CISD is one of only three districts in the Rio Grande Valley and 11 in the state of Texas to have all campuses earn the designation from Texas Project ADAM through the Cook Children’s Heart Center.

The Project ADAM Heart Safe School designation is earned by schools after completing a quality sudden cardiac arrest program of awareness, training, and effective emergency response. The training and response includes having proper response plans in place for each school, training of employees on emergency responses including the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AED), and drills of cardiac emergencies at each school.

“We were among the first in the RGV to deploy AED’s to all our district facilities,” said Magda Sauceda, Mission CISD coordinator for health services. “Going through the Project ADAM process was a great way to take that initial step of cardiac precautions to a preparedness level that will better serve our students, staff, and visitors.” 

Five years ago, Mission CISD did have a high school student experience a cardiac emergency, and having trained staff was instrumental in providing immediate care to the student until first responders could arrive, Sauceda added.

The Heart Safe School designation not only includes the proper placement of AEDs in facilities, but also the implementation of cardiac emergency response plans and drills, and the education of school staff on the warning signs and prevention of sudden cardiac death.