DALLAS (AP) A group headed by the Dallas Mavericks team physician said Wednesday it plans to raise $1 million for at least one automated external defibrillator in every Texas public high school after a recent mandate requiring the device.
The donations would help solve how some cash-strapped school districts will afford the life-saving heart stimulator, also known as AED, which costs about $1,200.
The University Interscholastic League voted last week to require that all 1,300 public high schools have at least one AED on campus but did not address how schools would pay for them.
The Texas Sports Medicine Foundation has already raised about half its goal and will give priority to rural school districts with smaller budgets, said Dr. T.O. Souryal, the group’s founder.
“We’re the safety net,” said Souryal.
Putting AEDs on high school campuses vaulted to the forefront of the UIL’s agenda after a recent rash of students who collapsed with suspected heart trouble, including three teenage football players who died in a 10-day span in Houston.
At least 600 high schools in Texas already have the devices in place, and most large school districts own several for their many campuses.