SADS School Nurses

Information for School Nurses

It is important that, as a school health professional, you work with the parents of SADS children to create a specific care plan for them and to make sure the school is aware of their condition and is properly prepared to respond in the event of an emergency.

School Nurse Forum about Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest

We understand that you may be fielding a lot of questions and concerns following Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest. And we know it’s daunting to be THE go-to person in your school for such a serious issue. We held a forum to help make sure schools are prepared for a cardiac emergency. Sign up below to watch the recording.

SADS Safe Schools Webinar for School Nurses

SADS Safe Schools Webinar for School Nurses is designed to teach you the basics of SADS conditions, including how to recognize warning signs, how to identify a “vanilla faint” vs. a “SADS faint” and view prolonged QT intervals on a sample EKG. You will also learn about SADS available resources for school nurses, such as care plans, and sample cardiac emergency plans.

Ms Dechert received her master in science of nursing at Loyola University Chicago in 2004 and has worked with pediatric arrhythmia patients since that time. In her current role at the University of Michigan, she cares for patients with sudden death conditions, children and adolescents with arrhythmias and those with pacemakers and ICDs. In addition to her clinical role, she has multiple research interests in pediatric patients with arrhythmias and sudden death conditions. Ms. Dechert is a board member of the SADS Foundation and is a SADS Foundation Medical Education Committee member.

SADS School Care Plans

The SADS Foundation recommends all children with a SADS condition have an Individualized Care Plan, a Cardiac Emergency Response Plan and an AED program at their school. If you have a SADS child at your school and have not had a discussion with their parents about care plans, we strongly suggest you do so today.

Use one of the following sample care plans that are specifically designed for a child with a SADS condition.

ICD Care Plan

Long QT Care Plan

Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome Care Plan

Brugada Syndrome Care Plan

Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia (CPVT) Care Plan

Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia (ARVD) Care Plan

SADS Warning Signs

Make sure you and the school personnel in your area know the warning signs of SADS.

    1. A family history of unexplained, sudden death in a young person (under age 40) including drowning suddenly.
    2. Fainting (syncope) or seizure during exercise, excitement, or startle.
    3. Consistent or unusual pain and/or shortness of breath during exercise.

    What the SADS Foundation Recommends

    Every child should have a risk assessment at regular intervals: preschool, before/during middle school, before/during high school and before participation in organized sports.


    Every school should have a Cardiac Emergency Response Plan (or an emergency action plan) in place, which includes a plan for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillators (AED) in schools.


    Every schoolchild with a SADS condition should have an individualized care plan in place.


    All high school students should be trained in CPR and AED’s as a requirement for graduation.


    Everyone should be aware of the warning signs that may indicate a child at risk of a sudden cardiac arrest.

    SADS School Nurse Packet Materials

    SADS has a packet of materials to help you better understand SADS conditions as well as how to care for students with a SADS condition. School health professionals also receive a teacher and a coach flyer as we ask them to distribute materials to teachers and coaches.

    Please Educate Your School(s)

    If you have any questions about keeping children safe this school year, please contact us at or call 801-272-3023 Thank you for your generous support!


    Make sure all teachers in your schools know the warning signs of SADS, where care plans are kept for every student in their class, can recognize a sudden cardiac arrest, are familiar with the schools emergency medical response plan, and know CPR and how to use an AED. If you have a student with a SADS condition, please give a copy of the teacher’s flyer and exercise flyer to all of their teacher


    Make sure all coaches in your schools know the warning signs of SADS and can recognize a sudden cardiac arrest. We also suggest all coaches and athletes are trained in CPR and know how to use an AED. It is estimated that the survival rate for a person can be up to 90% if CPR is given in the first 4-6 minutes of a person collapsing. Give all coaches at your school a copy of the coach’s flyer and exercise flyer.