The intention behind Basic Life Support (BLS) and the Heartsavers initiatives is to educate the target population, in this case, teachers, on the important life-saving skills necessary to respond to various emergencies caused by acute conditions. Within a Heartsavers course, understanding asthma and its potential adverse implications for young patients’ health is essential for teachers so they can provide immediate assistance in acute situations. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory lung disease characterized by mucus production, hyperresponsiveness, and mucosal edema that result from various external influences (Tiotiu et al., 2020). Status asthmaticus is an acute presentation of severe asthma that cannot be treated as usual and have the potential of progressing further to asphyxiation, which requires immediate intervention. The lack of knowledge of the procedures necessary to implement in the case of an acute asthma attack presents a risk to the health of an individual.
Heart disease is another diagnosis that requires the preparation of school teachers to assist the students who might need proper defibrillation. The process of teaching and learning is often associated with high levels of stress for many students, which prioritizes the need to be attentive to their condition at school (Healthy People 2020, 2020). Teachers should be aware of the alarming symptoms and potential ways to help their students as soon as possible. In this case, coordination with parents is critical, but the immediate actions taken by a teacher can save the life of a child or adolescent. Accordingly, there is a need to integrate the BLS and Heartsavers initiatives at schools. These initiatives are likely to educate teachers, who should acquire both knowledge and skills on the first aid for students with asthma and heart disease.
The Healthy People 2020 plan includes such objectives as the reduction of asthma-related deaths, asthma-related hospitalization, and emergency visits for asthma, which aligns with the need for proper education (Healthy People 2020, 2020). The objectives of the Healthy People 2020 regarding heart disease also align with the goals of the BLS and Heartsavers, such as the improvement of overall, cardiovascular health and decrease the proportion of children and adolescents with hypertension (Healthy People 2020, 2020).
The first strategy to address the acute asthma challenge is to educate teachers on the emergency management plan (Pinnock, 2015). Specifically, they should be informed about the use of short-acting beta-agonists, oral corticosteroids, and bronchodilators in emergency treatment. In addition, they should be educated on the proper administration of CPR before the arrival to the emergency setting within the Heartsavers and BLS initiative or any other program for educators. The second strategy is the overall education about asthma as a life-threatening condition to detect early signs of attack onset to administer preventive care and be ready to carry out emergency care if necessary. Teachers have the opportunity to educate children about the condition and facilitate collaboration for effective self-management of asthma.
In children and young adults, heart disease can range in severity, symptoms, and complications, depending on the age of the person and their characteristics. It bears importance to the Heartsavers and BLS initiatives due to the latter’s focus on the management of acute disease presentation. While treatment can range from medication management to surgery, the importance of early detection of acute symptomology and emergency care is essential within the nursing diagnosis efforts. Heart failure in children is a complicated health challenge and is defined as an “abnormality of the cardiac structure or function leading to failure of the heart to deliver oxygen at a rate commensurate with the requirements of the metabolizing tissues, despite normal filling pressures” (Jayaprasad, 2016, p. 92). According to the Healthy People 2020 objectives, there are such goals as the overall increase of cardiovascular health in the country, the reduction of coronary disease deaths, the reduction of stroke deaths, and others (Healthy People, 2020). Within a school setting, teachers must be informed of the ways to respond to heart failure immediately.
The principles of management of heart failure in children include the treatment of the cause, the treatment of systemic or pulmonary congestion, as well as precipitating event correction. The preparation of teachers to know how to distinguish the signs of an attack onset is imperative for the quick management of the disease. They should memorize the list of warning signs and symptoms, be informed about the need to call 911 within five minutes of their occurrence, as well as have a heart attack survival kit at their disposal to administer the necessary BLS until EMS staff arrives. It is important to train the target group in question on how to perform CPR in case if a person in question stops breathing. Before the arrival of EMS personnel, teachers should be able to keep the person under attack calm, administer aspirin if necessary. Similar to the strategy of managing acute asthma in children, it is recommended that teachers work with their students together to create a setting for an effective response to the attack.
Healthy People. 2020 Topics & objectives. Web.
Jayaprasad N. (2016). Heart failure in children. Heart Views: The Official Journal of the Gulf Heart Association, 17(3), 92-99. Web.
Pinnock H. (2015). Supported self-management for asthma. Breathe (Sheffield, England), 11(2), 98-109. Web.
Tiotiu, A., Novakova, P., Nedeva, D., Chong-Neto, H., Novakova, S., Steiropoulos, P., & Kowal, K. (2020). The impact of air pollution on asthma outcomes. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17, 1-29. Web.