Safety always comes before the game, especially when young people are involved. With sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) being the number one cause of death among student athletes, parents and coaches must be prepared for such an unimaginable event. Often times, SCA occurs in student athletes for one of these three reasons: A blow to the chest (Commotio Cordis); structural heart defects (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Marfan syndrome, etc.); or electrical heart defects (long QT syndrome, Wolff-Parkinson White Syndromes, etc.).
Commotio Cordis is Latin for “agitation of the heart,” which occurs when there is a blow to the chest between heartbeats. This can trigger a SCA. According to a report by the UT Southwestern Medical Center, many of these incidents take place when youths are playing baseball, where the ball has the ability to travel at very high speeds. For example, when a student athlete is struck in the chest with a baseball, the heart will go into ventricular fibrillation. This means the heart will begin an uncoordinated quivering, and unless an external automatic defibrillator (AED) is present to shock the heart back into its appropriate rhythm, it will eventually stop.
Though Commotio Cordis is considered a rare event, is still the second most common cause of sudden death among athletes. It is most common in teenage boys, usually dropping off around the age of 20. The age factor —according to the UT report — could be related to the strengthening of the chest wall and a decline in playing sports after high school. Regardless, coaches and parents should learn to recognize the signs of Commotio Cordis in order to ensure the right precautions are taken for the safety of these athletes.
Be AED and CPR ready should you notice any of the below risk factors in a young athlete, especially if it follows trauma to the chest:
- Fainting or seizures during or after exercising
- Any indication of chest pains
- Unexplained shortness of breath or long time to catch breath
It’s happened! Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) just struck in the person next to you, and they are in dire need of an automatic external defibrillator (AED). Luckily, you know where the AED is located, and it also has the ability to walk you through CPR. But as you grab this lifesaving device, the unthinkable happens — or rather, it doesn’t. The AED isn’t rescue ready. The device hasn’t been checked for preventative maintenance in years.
According to a study by UofL researchers, 21 percent of 322 AEDs at 190 public, non-hospital settings failed at least one phase of testing. Of that number, five percent had expired batteries, which would not allow them to work in a time of need.
Unfortunately, there are no required standards for the maintenance of AEDs or its registration. This makes the upkeep entirely voluntary for the AED carrier. Initially, the AED is registered with the vendor in order for the purchaser to receive updates on any recalls and advisories.
Cardio Partners offers preventative maintenance services to ensure your device is rescue ready. This helps to cut on costs of any unnecessary repairs or startling discoveries should it not work in a time of need. Preventative maintenance can help to guarantee a long lifetime for your piece of equipment; so that you can rest assured that is going to be ready in a time of need.
With school back in full swing again, teachers, coaches and other faculty members must strive to create a safe environment for every child that walks through their doors. Having that responsibility is big, but creating a little piece of mind by implementing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in schools is even bigger. When we lose nearly 7,000 young people to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) each year, it’s hard not to concern ourselves with the best way to respond should it strike during school hours. Not every school can afford to have emergency personnel on the premises, so having a life-saving source is key — especially when the AED is designed to walk any rescuer through defibrillation and CPR using voice prompts.
Despite the fact SCA can strike at any time in people of all ages and fitness levels, only 17 out of 50 states in the U.S. are required to install AEDs in schools, says an analysis published in the Journal of the American College Cardiology. This seems like an impossible number of states without the requirement for AEDs in schools, especially considering that defibrillation within three minutes of SCA can increase a person’s survival to 70 percent.
Often times, SCA occurs in young persons between the ages 10-19 years old; however, it can still strike in children of all ages without warning. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, two-thirds of SCA-related deaths in children happen during exercise or activity. With this in mind, preparation for such a tragic event can start with simple CPR, AED and first training.
Knowing that AEDs are crucial to increasing someone’s survival rate, there’s no question as to why they’re needed in schools. So, before investing in an AED at your facility, you first want to be sure it’s affordable, reliable and, most importantly, easy to use. Fortunately, models like the Zoll AED Plus and the HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P can offer a solution. Both of these affordable, lifesaving devices use voice prompts, which helps guide any rescuer through the resuscitation process. This allows the user to feel confident in their rescuing abilities during a very high stress situation.
EMS responders play a critical role in the treatment and, potentially, the prevention of the opioid epidemic we face today. Due to the staggering amount of deaths to opioid overdoses, it has been deemed a public health crisis. Opioids are responsible for decreasing the sensation of pain for the user by stimulating certain receptors in the brain. The lack of any perceived pain induces a feeling of euphoria- the feeling chased by opioid abusers.
The umbrella of opioids include heroin and several prescription painkillers such as methadone, oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine and fentanyl. During an opioid overdose, the patient experiences difficulty breathing and often respiratory arrest. Unfortunately, following respiratory arrest, a common secondary outcome of an opioid overdose occurs: cardiac arrest.
EMS responders often use naloxone which reverses the effects of opioid overdose, making it possible for the patient to breathe again. This drug is time sensitive and administering it can be a risky decision. Naloxone can prompt narcotic withdrawal symptoms and if it is administered too aggressively, the patient may have violent reactions. Since cardiac arrest frequently follows respiratory arrest, it is important to check the patient’s pulse and have an AED nearby in case the patient needs to be resuscitated. It is important to abide by the local rules if you have to administer naloxone to a patient in cardiac arrest.
With the help of properly and safely administered naloxone and timely use of an AED, many lives can and will be saved. EMS responders play a vital role in helping to decrease opioid overdoses every day. With the proper rehabilitation and education opportunities, this public health crisis may, one day, be less prevalent.
For more information about cardiac emergency preparedness, please visit www.aed.com.
Safety is key in schools and ensuring it remains that way shouldn’t be expensive. We know having an automatic external defibrillator (AED) can make all the difference, so we strive to make it affordable and reliable by running every recertified AED through an extremely thorough 11-point inspection process to guarantee it’s rescue ready.
If you’re looking to add a lifesaving device to your premises, the refurbished Zoll AED Plus will fulfill your safety and money-saving needs. Bright green in color, this device is meant to grab the attention of potential rescuers. Should a child or faculty member suffer a sudden cardiac arrest, the device will use voice prompts to walk anyone — trained or not trained— through the rescue process.
In addition to its step-by-step visual and audio cues, the Zoll AED Plus will guide a rescuer through CPR, ensuring correct chest compression depth (2 inches) and rate (100 reps/minute). This device also includes a one-piece electrode to be placed in the center of the victim’s chest, preventing any confusion for the rescuer.
Order the Zoll AED Plus today and get $200 off with the promo code BACKTOSCHOOL. Sale price is $995.
Somehow summer is already nearing an end and school is just around the corner again! As parents scramble to get back-to-school supplies, teachers and faculty members prepare for the hundreds of kids who will walk through their doors. For many, preparation means ensuring a child’s safety in every way.
Each year, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) strikes in nearly 7 million people worldwide. Among the millions, SCA claims the lives of more than 2,000 children and adolescents in the U.S. alone. To combat this statistic, an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) must be nearby in case of an emergency.
The semi-automatic HeartSine samaritan PAD 350P is a lightweight (2.4 lbs), portable AED ready to give a lifesaving shock. Using voice prompts, the HeartSine samaritan PAD can guide any rescuer through the resuscitation process. It will also walk a user through CPR. By analyzing the heart’s rhythm, the HeartSine samaritan PAD delivers an automatic shock without the need of someone pushing a “shock” button.
This easy-to-use, easy-to-own device also includes a built-in Pediatric-Pak, which will deliver the right amount of energy to children between ages 1-8 years old or up to 55 lbs.
Order the HeartSine 350P School Package today to get $200 off with the promo code SCHOOLPACK. The package includes one year of RescueTrac AED Program Management, Alarmed AED Wall Cabinet, Samaritan PAD Carrying Case, Adult Pad Pack, Pediatric Pad Pak, Rescue Ready Kit, Physician’s Prescription, AED Wall Sign and AED Window Decal.
Though heart attack and cardiac arrest may sound similar, these medical emergencies could not be more different. A person suffering from a heart attack has a blocked artery preventing the blood flow to the heart, while a cardiac arrest is a result of an electrical disturbance in heart. This malfunction causes an irregular heartbeat, which prevents blood from pumping to the brain, lungs and other organs.
Recognize the symptoms
The symptoms of a cardiac arrest and heart attack are drastically different. In moments, a person can go into cardiac arrest. Usually, a victim will become unresponsive and stop breathing unexpectedly or start gasping for air. Whereas for a heart attack, symptoms can be immediate, but also have the potential to start out slowly, lasting for hours, days or even weeks prior to a heart attack. Major symptoms include shortness of breath, cold sweats, nausea, and vomiting. It could also cause a strong discomfort in the chest as well as other parts of the upper body. Women may experience different symptoms than men such as back or jaw pain.
How to respond to both
Call 9-1-1. If a person believes he or she is having a heart attack or cardiac arrest, do not hesitate to call 9-1-1. Regardless of whether or not you know the type of emergency, it’s important to get help on the way as soon as possible. The sooner emergency medical services arrive, the faster they can start treatment. Remember, every second counts! For some victims, a cardiac arrest or heart attack can be reversible if treated in time.
Take action. Is it a cardiac arrest? Start preforming CPR right away. Should an automated external defibrillator (AED) be available, quickly use it to help the victim. If possible, have a second person call the emergency number while responding to the person in need of treatment.