What is Project Adam?

Project ADAM was founded in 1999, after the death of 17-year-old Adam Lemel. Adam, an accomplished athlete from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, collapsed and died after experiencing a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). The irregular heartbeat which led to his death — in his case, ventricular fibrillation — could have been shocked into a normal rhythm with defibrillation. 

An AED could have saved his life.

Soon after his death, Adam’s parents, Patty Lemel-Clanton and Joe Lemel, collaborated with the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s Herma Heart Center to found the nonprofit organization, Project Adam, in his honor. Project ADAM affiliates provide the foundation for schools to plan and develop their AED program. Support includes AED program planning templates, reference manuals, and one-on-one consultation on how to help prevent sudden cardiac death in the school setting.

In 2017, historic Project ADAM AED program management legislation passed in Tennessee. The new laws paved the way for proper placement of AEDs in schools, AED and CPR training, and AED drills to test school response systems. Other states soon followed suit.

Today, Project ADAM is a part of children’s hospitals and schools across the country supporting Heart Safe School initiatives. More than 20 states have adopted Project Adam Programming. Project Adam outreach has helped save the lives of children and adults all over the country.

How Common is SCA in children and young adults?

Although rare, SCA claims the lives of an estimated 6,000-8,000 individuals under the age of 35 each year (Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation).  Commotio cordis — often caused by a sudden blow to the chest — is the leading cause of SCA in student-athletes. Other causes of sudden cardiac death in children include Long QT Syndrome, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), and other congenital abnormalities.

While a vast majority of the more than 356,000 cardiac arrests that are recorded each year occur in adults over the age of 35 who suffer from coronary artery disease, these numbers are still something to be concerned about. The Mayo Clinic estimates that perhaps 1 in every 50,000 SCA deaths a year occurs in young athletes — like Adam Lemel.

Together, Project ADAM and Cardio Partners are making a difference in hospitals, schools, and communities across the nation.

For more information about the importance of AEDs in Schools and reasons why you should sign up for AED and CPR training, visit our blog. To learn more about our AED packages for schools or to purchase an AED, visit AED.com. Calls are welcome, too! Give Cardio Partners a ring at 866-349-4362. You can also email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

DISCLAIMER: The information included in this post and on our website is not intended as legal advice. As legislation changes often, this post may inadvertently contain inaccurate or incomplete information. We urge you to contact your state representative should you require more information about current AED, CPR, and Good Samaritan laws in your state.