As the technology in portable defibrillators has improved, school districts in many states are using the devices to treat sudden cardiac arrest on their campuses.

Pennsylvania is the first state in the country to provide each of its school districts with portable defibrillators, according to the Pittsburgh-based nonprofit National Center for Early Defibrillation.

Nearly 400 Pennsylvania school districts have applied for the free devices under a one-time, $2.5 million program approved by the state legislature in May, according to the state education department. Districts also can purchase additional defibrillators at


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