Frequently asked questions

Here are the most common questions we get asked about Project ADAM and the purchase and use of AEDs.

What is the liability of having a PAD program?

To date there have been no successful lawsuits against schools that have used an AED, even if the victim has not survived. In fact, trends show schools may be at risk of litigation for not having AEDs available. Check the Department of Health and Family Services in your state for information on public access defibrillation. The Good Samaritan Law also includes information on public access defibrillation.

Where can we find people to do the training?

Training must be provided by instructors certified to teach programs approved by the Department of Health and Family Services. Organizations with certified instructors include the American Heart Association, Red Cross, MEDIC First Aid International, American Safety and Health Institute curriculums, and National Safety Council. All instructors should be certified and able to show proof of certification. The Medical College of Wisconsin has three certified training centers located in Milwaukee: Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital and Paramedic Training Center.

Who should we train and how often should we hold retraining sessions?

Most schools train existing code blue or emergency response team members. Schools also should encourage athletic directors, coaches, janitors and students to become certified to use the AED and to perform CPR. Formal retraining is required either yearly or every other year. However, we encourage schools to practice the response plan more often. The Project ADAM manual has practice scenarios that can be used for informal review sessions.

Do we need a medical director and where can we find one?

In Wisconsin a medical director is not required by law. However, we strongly encourage you to have medical oversight of your program. Each state should check the laws specific to public access defibrillation to see if medical oversight is required. For schools without a physician on staff, a local emergency department physician may be willing to oversee your program. Many emergency medical directors also are willing to provide medical oversight.

What brand of AED should we buy?

Project ADAM does not provide recommendations for specific AED devices. We will provide you with the names and contact numbers for vendors who sell FDA-approved devices. AED vendors, your local EMS and medical professionals in your community can provide insight as to which device best fits your needs.

How do we write policies for an internal response to a medical emergency?

Project ADAM has created templates of all policies, procedures and letters that are required by Wisconsin Act 7. We also offer personal consultations to tailor the PAD program to your specific institution.

How do we generate administrative and community support?

The key is having all the facts when you approach administration. The extent of the problem, the legal issues, cost, training and program implementation all are factors to be considered. Project ADAM staff can help you put together your presentation. We also have a CD and video that you can use to generate support and funding. In addition, we are able to travel to your location and speak with key groups of people to help explain the program and the implications for the school and community.

Where do we find appropriate resources and how do we begin to plan for this program?

Planning begins with a committee of key people including school administrators, athletic personnel, school nurses, parents, local emergency medical personnel, medical directors and any community groups you have identified as being interested in supporting the initiative. The Project ADAM manual helps you answer some initial questions, anticipate the costs and begin planning for training and program implementation. We also have staff who can lead your first meeting and assist with the planning process. In addition, we have identified initiatives that may help you secure funding, including a CPR/AED training grant from Children's Hospital of Wisconsin for Wisconsin schools.