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Project ADAM's first North Carolina affiliate established at Duke

Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Salim Idriss

A life-saving program that helps to prevent sudden cardiac arrest in children and teens has now arrived in North Carolina.

Duke Children’s has become the first North Carolina affiliate for Project ADAM (Automated Defibrillators in Adam’s Memory), a non-profit organization dedicated to establishing comprehensive defibrillation programs in schools across the country. The program’s mission is to reach out to schools to ensure that automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are installed and that staff, faculty, students and families are trained how to use them and to perform CPR. 

Salim Idriss, MD, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics in the Division of Cardiology and executive co-director of the Duke Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center, recently announced the official affiliation of Duke and Project ADAM to establish Project ADAM North Carolina (PA-NC).

Project ADAM began in 1999 after a series of sudden deaths among high school athletes in southeastern Wisconsin, including 17-year-old Adam Lemel. Many of these deaths appeared to be due to ventricular fibrillation, a condition in which the ventricles cannot pump blood into the body. Adam’s parents, Patty and Joe Lemel, collaborated with the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to create this program in Adam’s memory. Hundreds of children and teens experience sudden non-traumatic cardiac death each year in the U.S., and multiple studies, including the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Sudden Death in the Young (SDY) registry, have been designed to get more specific data about the incidence and scope of this problem.

As a Project ADAM affiliate, the Duke Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center will provide the foundation for schools throughout the state to achieve the Heart Safe School designation by preparing schools for a cardiac emergency through the implementation of emergency response plans, staff CPR and AED training, student CPR education, and sudden cardiac arrest awareness education.

For additional information or to find our how you can become involved with Project ADAM North Carolina (PA-NC), please contact:

Salim F. Idriss, MD, PhD
Executive Co-Director, Duke Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center
Director, Pediatric Cardiac Electrophysiology
Director, Duke Pediatric and Electrophysiology Laboratories


Special thanks to Alli Thompson, MBA, CHES (Project ADAM national administrator) and Catherine Frye, PhD (Duke University School of Medicine) for extensive work finalizing the Duke affiliation. 

Project ADAM North Carolina is supported in part by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals fundraising benefiting Duke Children’s.