Cardio Partners Donates AED Trainer to Local YMCA

YMCA of Middle Tennessee Gratefully Accepts New ZOLL AED Trainer from Cardio Partners

Long-time advocates for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) awareness, AED placement and training, and CPR certification, Cardio Partners recently donated a ZOLL AED PLUS Trainer to the YMCA of Middle Tennessee. The organization will use the new training device during the hands-on portion of CPR/First Aid training at the Margaret Maddox Family YMCA.

“We want to make sure that the people who are getting certified are being taught with the latest training devices. It’s important to be able to hear the voice prompts because in a real rescue operation you want to make sure that you understand what the device is telling you to do,” said Cardio Partners Marketing Coordinator Sonia Thalman.

Cardio Partners receives several donation requests each month, and the company’s leadership committee considers each request carefully and makes a decision based on a variety of factors.

“We felt like donating to the YMCA of Middle Tennessee was an especially good fit, as Cardio Partners is also headquartered in Nashville. We are committed to heart health and it’s nice to be able to serve our community,” said Sonia.

What is an AED Trainer?

An AED trainer is a non-shocking device that helps instructors safely train students on the correct use of an AED in a variety of life-threatening emergency situations. Typically, these devices come with reusable, low-adhesive defibrillator pads for adults and children.

Unlike rescue AEDs, which deliver therapeutic shocks, AED trainers do not. To avoid a potentially fatal mistake and to minimize liability, do not store AED trainers or AED Training pads near your rescue-ready AED. AED trainers should be used by qualified instructors and their students.

The ZOLL AED Plus Trainer 2 allows trainers like Michelle Mattox, CPR/AED/First Aid/O2 Instructor at the Margaret Maddox Family YMCA, to instruct a group of students on how to use an AED. The device features four pre-programmed rescue scenarios as well as a fully manual mode so that instructors can have full control over simulated emergencies. These devices help students practice CPR and defibrillation in real-life situations. After training, students should be able to successfully simulate rescuing the victim of cardiac arrest with the training AED. They should also understand the difference between a trainer and a rescue AED and the basic functions of a rescue AED.

Each year, Michelle certifies approximately 200 YMCA employees and community members. At a recent Saturday CPR/First Aid training, Michelle apologized for the state of her much-used device. The decade-old training unit had become little more than a prop, as the unit no longer gave audible prompts for users, nor could Michelle use the unit to simulate different rescue scenarios.

“This is a problem,” said Michelle in a recent phone conversation “because you need to know what to expect in the real world. If you can’t hear the trainer AED, it makes teaching much more difficult. It’s also harder for students to feel confident about their ability to use an AED. I’m just so excited to have the new unit! It’s loud — and it’s supposed to be loud! It’s going to make the training more realistic. I’m so grateful!”

Features of the ZOLL AED PLUS Trainer

The latest ZOLL Trainer includes controls that simulate voice and text prompts issued by the ZOLL AED Plus when when rescuers perform CPR. The trainer also features a metronome to to help students maintain a steady compression rhythm. Instructors can press the “push harder” button from a handheld remote when a student’s chest compressions are too shallow. Instructors can also select the “good compressions” button to provide positive feedback.

The trainer is programmed with four scenarios, each simulating a different heart rhythm. Instructors can also opt to use the manual function to customize scenarios.

To learn more about AED training devices or to submit a donation request, contact Cardio Partners or AED.com at 866-349-4362 or send an email to customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

What Will I Learn From a CPR or First Aid Class?

What to Expect from Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and First Aid Certification Courses

In this post we’ll preview some of the topics commonly covered, so you’ll know what to look forward to when you take the CPR/First Aid plunge. Depending on the course you take, you’ll learn CPR skills (which covers CPR for all ages, AED & choking), CPR for adults, and/or CPR for children. First Aid covers common scenarios including: bleeding, burns, poisoning, shock, and respiratory emergencies.

We’ll break it down for you in more detail, but in a nutshell, you’ll leave your CPR and First Aid classes with the knowledge, skills, experience, and confidence you need to help save a life.

Knowledge: What You Need to Know About CPR and First Aid

Today, many courses are “blended,” which means a substantial portion of the instruction occurs online. However, traditional, instructor-led training which allows participants to complete the coursework in one setting may is also available for large groups or corporate settings. Either way, once you’ve completed the required lessons and passed the accompanying skills, you’ll complete your certification with hands-on, in-person training.

Topics include how to identify sudden cardiac arrest, understanding the links in the chain of survival; the qualities of high performance CPR; the importance of personal safety and standard precautions; the steps to assess an unresponsive person; how to use an AED on an adult, child, or infant; how to place an unresponsive but breathing person in the recovery position; and how to recognize and provide treatment for a choking adult, child, or infant.  

As part of your First Aid Certification, you’ll first learn what your role as a provider is. As with CPR training, you’ll also learn how to recognize an emergency, why it’s important to offer to help, how to move an injured person safely and effectively, and the importance of standard precautions and protective barriers. You’ll also learn how to conduct primary assessments on responsive and unresponsive individuals which will, in turn, help you determine the best form of treatment.  

Skills: What You Need to Do as a CPR or First Aid Provider

Once you’ve acquired some basic CPR and First Aid knowledge, you’ll dive into the specific skills needed to perform both CPR and First Aid.

You’ll learn to perform one-person CPR, CPR with rescue breaths, Hands Only CPR, how to administer CPR as part of a 2 rescuer team, and how to administer a shock from an AED. You’ll also learn how to perform CPR on adults, children, and infants. It’s worth noting that CPR-only courses may cover adults only or infants and children. Be sure to sign up for the course that’s right for you!

Your First Aid course work will cover how to control bleeding; what to do in the event of a head, neck or back injury; how to assess and treat injuries to limbs; how to respond to burns; how to treat minor injuries; how to identify and assess altered mental status; what to do in the event someone is experiencing breathing difficulty or shortness of breath; how to respond to chest pain, severe pressure, or chest discomfort; best steps for treating a victim of poisoning; and how to respond to environmental emergencies such as hypothermia or heat stroke.

Experience: Putting CPR and First Aid Lessons into Practice

Textbook, classroom, and online learning is great, but there’s nothing like hands-on training to reinforce your coursework. As part of your CPR training, you’ll have the opportunity to practice CPR with rescue breathing, AED use, and working as part of a 2 rescuer team.

Your instructor will also review your First Aid knowledge, taking you through the steps you’ve already learned to control bleeding, Epi Pen use, patient assessment, and more.

Confidence: Being Ready to Help (While Understanding Your Limitations)

Although you’ll gain the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to help someone in need, you’ll also learn about your boundaries and the limits of your abilities. Knowing what you can and cannot do is a huge part of building confidence. As a CPR/First Aid provider, your job is to help someone who is ill and injured and to keep them safe until more advanced medical treatment arrives. That’s it!

As an authorized Training Center, Cardio Partners and AED.com provides high quality and consistent training courses across the United States. Our courses are offered through the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association. For more information about blended or traditional CPR and First Aid training, call our team at 866-349-4362 or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

Your Reasons for Not Learning CPR Probably Aren’t Valid

Getting Your CPR and First Aid Certification is Easier than You Think

As a young athlete, I looked on anxiously as my coach responded confidently and calmly when a teammate collapsed from heat exhaustion and dehydration. I watched my mother howl in pain after being shot in the toe by a reveler’s stray New Year’s Eve bullet (true story). Although I had no real clue how to perform it, I steeled myself for the Heimlich when I watched my daughter inhale her first fish taco at an unsightly speed.

Over the years, I’ve stanched countless bloody noses and assessed minor sprains and major bruises, each time wondering, “Am I doing this correctly?”

Still, to my embarrassment, I never managed to take the plunge and sign up for a CPR and First Aid class.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably thought about getting your CPR and First Aid certifications but just never quite got around to it. Recently, however, I started writing for Cardio Partners. Over the past few months I’ve written posts with titles like “10 Reasons Why You Should Learn CPR” and “The Importance of CPR and AEDs: A Survivor’s Story” and found myself feeling increasingly unqualified to encourage others to sign up for CPR when I, myself, had yet to get certified.

So I decided to do something about it. A couple of weeks ago, I found myself as the lone writer in a small group of amiable YMCA of Middle Tennessee employees, compressing a steady rhythm on the chest of a well-used CPR manikin as my partners held the oxygen mask over its face, counted to 30, delivered rescue breaths, and prepared the AED to administer its life-saving shock.

Two and a half hours later, I was the proud holder of Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers, Basic First Aid, and Emergency Oxygen certification cards.

I Don’t Have the Time to Take a CPR Class!

Sound familiar? After discovering that “blended” classes incorporating online training with in-person live skills sessions were offered at my local Y, I realized that my biggest excuse was no longer valid.

Within moments of registering for the course, I received an email from the instructor with a link to the online portion of the course. Initially, I was a bit daunted by the sheer number of lessons required — I opted to become certified not only in CPR/AED, but also in Basic First Aid and Emergency Oxygen administration and had 46 lessons to complete and 3 exams to pass.

I soon discovered, however, that the lessons were short, easy-to-follow, and well-constructed.

Each lesson built nicely upon the one that preceded it and I found myself well-prepared to ace each of the three online exams.

Conveniently, I was able to complete the course in stages and at my own pace. Although it took me five days and a total of four hours to complete, I’m sure that quicker studies than myself could do so in a single session in as little as three hours.

I’m Waaaay Too Squeamish to Take a First Aid Course!

Yup. That’s me. I’m the person in the movie theater who covers her eyes and plugs her ears and whispers, “Is it over yet? Can I look?”

If I survived, you’re going to be just fine.

The videos are predictably staged, the blood is clearly fake, and the burns are obviously of the latex variety. Yeah, you’ll cringe a time or two, but you’ll make it.

I’m the Last Person You’d Want Performing CPR or First Aid!

Prior to completing the course, I’d have to say that statement fit me pretty well. Now that I’m far more confident in my abilities (while still being well aware of my limitations) I’d say that you could do worse than having me by your side in an emergency.

Michelle Mattox, a CPR/AED/First Aid/O2 Instructor at the Margaret Maddox Family YMCA in Nashville has certified hundreds of people over the years and says that she’s gotten a ton of positive feedback from her students, “It’s more effective when people take an online and in-person class because they get a chance to see it, hear it, and be taught the basics at their own pace and then in the class they can really focus on their skills and getting it right. It’s easier to digest that way. Pretty much everybody that I’ve talked to tells me that they feel more confident and that they know what to do.”

CPR Training is Too Expensive!

Costs may vary from provider to provider, but let me assure you, it’s quite reasonable. I recommend checking out the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, or your local YMCA for an affordable course near you. Or, to arrange a training for your workplace or organization, call Cardio Partners or AED.com at 866-349-4362 or send an email to customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

Char Vandermeer is a freelance copywriter based in Nashville, TN. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading, gardening, kayaking, and soaking up the sunshine with her family.

What’s the Difference Between a Heart Attack and Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Is it a Heart Attack or Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

If you haven’t put much thought into the difference between a heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), don’t feel too bad! Many people believe that a heart attack and SCA are the same thing and commonly use the terms interchangeably.

In a nutshell, a heart attack is a circulation problem and cardiac arrest is an electrical problem. Although individuals who have suffered a heart attack are more likely to experience SCA, the two cardiac events are very different! To improve survival odds, it’s important to gain a deeper understanding of the key differences between a heart attack and SCA.

What is a Heart Attack?

During a heart attack, an artery becomes clogged and cannot carry adequate oxygen to the heart. In many cases, the heart continues to beat normally but if the blockage is not quickly resolved, parts of the cardiac muscle will begin to die. Like all muscles, your heart requires oxygen-rich blood for survival. The longer a heart attack goes on without treatment, the greater the damage to the muscle.

Comedian, actor, filmmaker, and former convenience store clerk Kevin Smith (@ThatKevenSmith) made headlines last month by tweeting, “After the first show this evening, I had a massive heart attack. The Doctor who saved my life told me I had 100% blockage of my LAD artery (aka “the Widow-Maker”). If I hadn’t canceled show 2 to go to the hospital, I would’ve died tonight. But for now, I’m still above ground!”

Health.com notes that, “Recovery from a heart attack typically involves medications, changes in diet and exercise habits, and sometimes surgery. Happily, less than a month after his cardiac scare, Smith was back on Twitter announcing that he’d lost 20 pounds and that his blood pressure was “amazing.”

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

According to the Library of Congress, the heart is the hardest working muscle in the body. It pumps out two ounces of blood at every heartbeat. Each day, your heart pumps at least 2,500 gallons of blood! And if you live into your 80s, your heart will have beaten more than three billion times. That’s one hard-charging muscle, so return the favor by paying attention to the signals your heart may be sending you.

If you know what to look for, you may even be able to prevent a heart attack from occurring. Symptoms can occur hours, days, and even weeks before a heart attack. The most common symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the chest
  • Lightheadedness, nausea, or vomiting
  • Jaw, neck, or back pain
  • Discomfort or pain in arm or shoulder
  • Shortness of breath

Women may experience these symptoms differently than men. Even though heart disease is the number-one killer of women in the United States, women often fail to identify their symptoms as warning signs of a heart attack.

“‘Although men and women can experience chest pressure that feels like an elephant sitting across the chest, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure,’ said Nieca Goldberg, M.D., medical director for the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU’s Langone Medical Center and an American Heart Association volunteer. ‘Instead they may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue’” (American Heart Association).

The key takeaway: listen to your body and don’t hesitate to seek medical help should you experience any of these symptoms.

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Unlike a heart attack, SCA can occur with little or no warning, as it did for SCA survivor Rob Seymour. SCA occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. Symptoms are immediate and dire: sudden loss of consciousness/responsiveness, lack of breathing, and no pulse. During a cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating and the organs of the body are deprived of oxygen.

When the heart stops beating, death can occur within minutes.

SCA can be caused by any number of events such as ventricular fibrillation, a sudden blow to the chest, electrocution, drowning, drug abuse, cardiomyopathy, and hypothermia. Cardiac arrest can be reversible if it’s treated in the first few minutes with CPR and by using an AED on the victim.

What You Can Do

If you witness someone suffering from a possible heart attack or SCA, call 911 immediately. The operator may be able to help you administer compression-only CPR to the victim. If possible, ask a bystander to locate an AED. To become even better equipped to respond in the event of a cardiac emergency, sign up for a first aid and CPR course. You never know when your actions could help save a life.

Get certified today. Cardio Partners and aed.com offer CPR, First Aid, AED, and bloodborne pathogen training courses in all 50 states in traditional classroom settings and in blended learning courses. To learn more about our courses or to schedule a training, call our team at 866-349-4362 or email Cardio Partners at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

The Importance of CPR and AEDs: An SCA Survivor’s Story

Cardiac Arrest Survivor Rob Seymour Advocates for CPR Training and Public Access to AEDs

On Sunday, May 3, 2015, Philadelphians were enjoying one of those postcard-worthy spring days that city-dwellers cherish. The skies were blue, the sun was shining, the air was clear, and the temperature was just right. Runners from all over the country who had gathered in the City of Brotherly Love couldn’t have asked for a better day for the annual Blue Cross Broad Street Run.

Atlanta native Rob Seymour, then 26, and his wife Michelle were among the nearly 40,000 athletes jogging their way to the finish line at Philly’s famed Naval Yard. The popular run down the city’s main north-south thoroughfare is the largest 10-mile race in the nation and a favorite among runners.

A lifelong athlete with a passion for baseball, basketball, and running, Rob had achieved a personal record time during the 2014 race and was focusing on enjoying his fifth Broad Street Run with his wife. They were both looking forward to the celebratory tailgate with friends and family at the end of the course.

“It was a leisurely run. That year the goal was to have Michelle finish the race, so it was a different experience. It was a lot of fun. We were enjoying ourselves through the whole race,” said Rob in a recent interview.

Rob and Michelle never made it to that tailgate, however.

Just moments after Rob and his wife triumphantly crossed the finish line, he began to feel dizzy. At first, he thought it was a low blood pressure issue but soon realized that it was something far more serious.

“My vision just kept closing and things got blurrier and blurrier. I realized that it wasn’t going to stop. I called out to my wife hoping to catch myself on her. She turned around just in time to watch me drop to my knees and fall face first onto the ground,” remembers Rob.

Soon after he hit the pavement, he began seizing. Fortunately, a nearby team of paramedics saved his life. One began performing CPR while the other grabbed a portable automatic external defibrillator (AED). The device quickly recognized that his heart had gone into ventricular fibrillation (V-fib) and applied one shock. After the life-saving shock, Rob’s heart resumed its normal rhythm.

The next thing he remembers he was lying on his back, admiring the clear blue sky as the gurney he was on bumped along to the ambulance. Rob, who worked in the health insurance industry at the time, knew full well the costs associated with the ambulance ride and the treatment they were discussing. Assuming he was merely dehydrated, he found himself requesting a Gatorade and questioning the need for an IV and challenging the EMTs on whether or not he really needed to go to the hospital.

Then the paramedic told him that his heart had stopped and that he’d gone into sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

“My wife, who was in the front of the ambulance turned around and told me to just let them do their job,” recalls Rob.

During the five days that Rob spent at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, physicians ran a full battery of cardiac tests in an attempt to determine what had happened.

“They looked at everything they could look at structurally and electrophysiologically, but ultimately they couldn’t tell me what caused the situation,” remembers Rob.

He opted to have a subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD) implanted to constantly monitor his heart rate. Fortunately, he hasn’t had any episodes since that day in May and he has the peace of mind of knowing that the S-ICD will shock his heart back into a normal rhythm if necessary.

“If such a thing had to happen, I was certainly in the right place at the right time. I could have been out on my own on a weekend run like I had been hundreds of times. I was so fortunate that the medics and the AED were there,” says Rob.

Since Rob’s SCA, not only does he notice the location of AEDs in airports and in public buildings, but both he and his wife enrolled in a CPR class. Today, he’s an advocate for learning  CPR.

“We felt we needed to be prepared to do that [perform CPR] for someone else,” notes Rob. “We needed to know that we could keep someone alive until help arrives. It wasn’t all that difficult, but it gave us the confidence to know that we could help someone.”

Cardio Partners Account Specialist Sean Stargel, who attended elementary and high school with Rob, remembers him as an outgoing and active athlete who excelled at basketball and baseball.

“Honestly, it’s scary to hear about an AED being used on someone I’ve known as long as I’ve known Rob. I’m very grateful that there was AED present to provide the life-saving therapy that he needed,” says Sean. “We’re in this for a reason and that reason is to make sure that people are informed about the risks of SCA. We provide these devices so that people have a solution within reach.”

 AED.com is a trusted nationwide CPR training center. To learn more about our courses or to schedule a training, call our team at 866-349-4362 or email Cardio Partners at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

Texas Girl Scout Earns Prestigious Gold Award and Donates ZOLL AED Plus to City Park

Jillian Rash Donates AED to Twin Coves Park and Raises Heart Health Awareness in Flower Mound, Texas

Flower Mound, a close-knit community located just 20 miles northwest of Dallas, is known for its proximity to Grapevine Lake and the eponymous 12-acre hill covered in native prairie grasses and wildflowers. Now, the city has one more claim to fame: the home of newly-minted Girl Scout Gold Award recipient Jillian Rash.

For more than a year, Jillian, a junior at Flower Mound High School, worked tirelessly to increase awareness about heart disease in women and to raise enough money to donate an AED to the city’s popular Twin Coves Park.

After watching town hall meetings and discovering that there was a need for an AED at the park, Jillian set her goals and got to work.

Her incredible Girl Scout Gold Award journey concluded on March 5, 2018, when Jillian made her final heart health awareness presentation to members of City Council. Community attendees were visibly and vocally impressed by the young advocate’s hard work and by her varied efforts to raise awareness around this incredibly important issue.

Of the presentation earlier this month, Jillian says “It was really exciting. It was everything that I had worked on for the past year and a half had come to a peak. I was really proud of all that I had done. I also really enjoyed talking to all the people in the community. I had people coming up to me telling me how AEDs saved their lives. It’s just really exciting to see that my project had an impact on people and that they benefited from it. That was my goal.”

Frank Mannino, a strategic account manager for Cardio Partners, had the privilege of handing over the ZOLL AED Plus to Jillian, who then presented it to park manager Mark Long. She also was able to donate a recessed wall cabinet to help ensure visibility and public access to the life-saving device.

“Cardio Partners was really excited to help and to offer our support for such a dedicated young woman who wants to help her community,” says Mannino. “I know hundreds of people who do this for a living and I was so impressed that she volunteered to do this! Education is key, really. And she took the time to educate herself and then put in all the effort to educate other people and change her community. She’s teaching people how to react in the event of a cardiac emergency and giving individuals a chance.”

Jillian chose this ambitious project after witnessing the devastating impact of heart disease in her community and subsequently learning that heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States. The American Heart Association notes that heart disease contributes to 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year.

“I think death from heart attacks are so preventable,” says Jillian. “If you know symptoms of a heart attack you can be proactive and go to the hospital.”

Over the course of 18 months, Jillian advocated for women’s heart health awareness and helped community members learn more about how to lead heart-healthy lives.

She created a public Gold Award Women’s Heart Health Awareness Facebook page, where she posted daily tips to help group members make heart-healthy decisions. She also hosted a fun workshop for Flower Mound elementary girls to teach them about heart health habits.

Even more significantly, in February of 2017 and 2018, Jillian hosted AED/CPR trainings and First Aid courses that resulted in the certification of nearly 100 individuals. During this time, she was also busy raising funds to purchase a new ZOLL AED Plus and to provide training to four Twin Coves Park employees.

“On behalf of the Parks and Rec Department and the Twin Coves staff, and anyone who goes into the park, we want to thank you for your efforts,” said park manager Mark Long, during his remarks at the March 3 meeting. “It would be my plea to you to become certified in the AED or CPR or basic First Aid. You never know when you’ll need to use it. And while I hope we never have to use it at Twin Coves Park, I know that because of Jillian’s efforts, we’re going to be prepared for that day.”

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest achievement that a Girl Scout can receive. The award recognizes girls who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and who have identified and completed projects that have a long-lasting and sustainable impact on their local community and beyond. Over the past century, nearly 1 million dedicated and driven girls have made a lasting impact on their communities and beyond. Jillian Rash is a member of Troop 3838, led by Andie Milton.

To learn more about how AED.com a Cardio Partners company can help you serve your community, contact our team at 866-349-4362 or email Cardio Partners at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

What You Need to Know About Young Athletes, Commotio Cordis, & Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Raising Awareness about SCA and Commotio Cordis in Youth

Many of us assume that the more than 350,000 Americans who suffer from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) each year are elderly or suffer from heart disease or other health conditions. While this is certainly true for many, it’s not true for all. In fact, SCA caused by commotio cordis is far more common on the high school playing field than in the halls of your local senior center.

What is Commotio Cordis?

The American Heart Association defines commotio cordis as “a phenomenon in which a sudden blunt impact to the chest causes sudden death in the absence of cardiac damage.” Although the condition was first described in laborers the mid-1700s, in the last couple of decades, commotio cordis events have occurred primarily in sports.

Today, this type of trauma is most often caused by the impact of a ball, hit, or puck to the chest. When an athlete takes a blow to the area directly over the heart at a critical time during the cycle of a heartbeat, it may cause cardiac arrest.

According to the HeartRescue Project, the risk of SCA is three times greater in competitive athletes. The average age of athletes who suffer from sudden cardiac arrest is just 17 and more than two-thirds of young athletes who die suddenly are basketball and football players. Baseball, softball, hockey, and lacrosse players, however, are especially susceptible to commotio cordis.

Even a seemingly insignificant or minor blow to the chest can cause commotio cordis, so it’s critical that members of the coaching staff, athletes, and parents are all well-informed.

Facts about Commotio Cordis

  • More than 224 cases have been reported to the US Commotio Cordis Registry since 1995. It’s estimated, however, that many more cases have not been reported.
  • Based on the Registry cases of commotio cordis the survival rate was 24%.
  • 95% of cases affected males.
  • Commotio cordis most frequently occurs in those aged between 10 and 18 years.
  • 50% of episodes occur during competitive sports, a further 25% occur during recreational sports, and the other 25% occurs during other activities that involve blunt force trauma to the chest wall.

(Source: Life in the Fast Lane)

Preventing Commotio Cordis and SCA Among Athletes

Unfortunately, there’s no way to completely prevent commotio cordis or SCA from occurring. However, by shining a light on the issue, coaches and athletes can reduce the incidence of life-threatening chest trauma and can maximize survival rates by adhering to the following recommendations.

Coach Responsibly

Young athletes should be educated about commotio cordis and should protect themselves and their teammates from taking direct blows to the chest during practice and game time. Coaching staff members should teach techniques that emphasize player safety and encourage players to turn away from the ball to avoid errant pitches, for example.

Consider Using Reduced Impact Balls

These “safety balls” are especially good options for our youngest athletes, who are in the skill-building stages of their development and training. Not only do these balls minimize injuries, but they reduce fear and improve confidence among young players.

Be Alert

If you see an athlete collapse on the field, be proactive! The American Heart Association notes that “resuscitation, once thought to be nearly universally unsuccessful, has now been demonstrated to be successful in up to 35% of commotio cordis victims.”

Learn CPR

Here at Cardio Partners, we believe in the power of CPR. As a team-building exercise, we recommending signing the whole team up for CPR training. Check out our post, 10 Reasons Why You Should Learn CPR, for more information.

Invest in an AED for Your School Gym and Your Fieldhouse

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of AEDs in the Workplace, but parents of athletes and survivors of commotio cordis would argue that the gymnasium and field house is just as important as a public hallway for automatic external defibrillator placement. In most instances, EMTs cannot reasonably be expected to arrive at the scene of a cardiac arrest in less than five minutes. Well-placed public-access AEDs may save the lives of countless young athletes.


AED.com and Cardio Partners offers CPR, first aid, AED, and bloodborne pathogen training courses in all 50 states in traditional classroom settings and in blended learning courses. To learn more about our courses or to equip your school’s athletic facilities with an AED, call our team at 866-349-4362 or email Cardio Partners at customerservice@cardiopartners.com. We’d love to hear from you!