Become Heart Safe With Project ADAM

Building a Heart Safe School Community With Project ADAM

At Nemours Children's, we go beyond medicine to establish life-saving programs that prepare Delaware schools and communities to respond to sudden cardiac arrest. Together with Project ADAM (Automated Defibrillators in Adam’s Memory), we are proud to provide education and training to local schools and communities, empowering them to respond effectively to cardiac emergencies.

Our program helps Delaware schools create cardiac emergency response plans, train students and staff in CPR and AED use, and educate students and staff to recognize a sudden cardiac arrest event. By completing our program, schools receive certification and recognition as a Heart Safe School, demonstrating their commitment to the safety of their community.

About Project ADAM

Project ADAM began in 1999 in Wisconsin after the death of Adam Lemel, who was just 17 years old when he collapsed and died while playing basketball. Adam suffered sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), in which ventricular fibrillation occurred, a condition in which the ventricles cannot pump blood into the body. Defibrillation, or an AED, could have saved his life. Adam’s parents, Patty and Joe, teamed up with Children’s Wisconsin to create Project ADAM.

Project ADAM is a nationwide initiative that has saved the lives of more than 200 children, adolescents and adults who went into sudden cardiac arrest. Today, there are 42 Project ADAM-affiliated sites in 32 states.

What Is Cardiac Arrest?

Cardiac arrest is an electrical malfunction of the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (also called arrhythmia) and disrupts the flow of blood to the brain, lungs and other organs.

In youth, cardiac arrest may be caused by abnormalities of the heart muscle (known as cardiomyopathy or myocarditis), anomalies of the coronary arteries, or primary electrical conduction system abnormalities (such as long QT syndrome or catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT)). Some of these conditions are present at birth while others develop over time. 

Recognizing cardiac arrest, starting early CPR, and using an automated external defibrillator (AED) can help restore normal heart rhythm and save a life. Every second counts. Having a cardiac emergency response plan is key to success during those critical first few minutes.

Learn more about the signs and symptoms of cardiac arrest

Benefits of Being Heart Safe: 

  • Become aware of signs and symptoms of a sudden cardiac arrest 
  • Know how to respond to a sudden cardiac arrest event 
  • Be recognized as a Heart Safe School by Nemours and Project Adam 
  • Receive a Heart Safe School banner to promote your designation 
  • Raise awareness about cardiac arrest

Schools that participate in Project Adam with Nemours receive:

  • Consultation with pediatric health care professionals from Nemours Children's Cardiac Center. 
  • Materials that provide a step-by-step guide on how to incorporate a cardiac response plan within your school 
  • Individualized consultations to support schools in earning their Heart Safe School designation
  • Free educational videos and templates to organize and customize your Project ADAM efforts.

Our goal is to have all schools in Delaware establish effective sudden cardiac arrest preparedness procedures to help prevent the tragedies of sudden cardiac death in children.

Interested in getting a local school or community center Heart Safe Certified? Email Karen McCandless, MSN, ARNP Project Adam Program Coordinator at for questions and next steps.