Tag Archives: student-athletes

Be Ready to Help in a Heartbeat

Student athletes spend hours training for competition — but how about training to save a life

Studies show that 6,000 – 8,000 teens experience sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) annually.1 Every three days, a student athlete falls victim to sudden cardiac death.2

Student athletes are at heightened risk for SCA due to the additional strain placed on the heart during athletic conditioning and competition. Contributing factors include the influx of adrenaline, dehydration, fever, and changes in electrolytes.3

While SCA isn’t preventable, sudden cardiac death can be. All it takes is to educate students on the symptoms that can precede an SCA event and to have an automated external defibrillator (AED) readily available during athletic practices and competition.

SCA can strike without warning, but sometimes symptoms are presented. Student athletes often dismiss symptoms preceding an SCA event for fear of losing precious game time. That’s why it’s vitally important for athletes to fully understand the risks they face and feel confident speaking up to prevent sudden cardiac death.

Here are some of the warning signs:5

  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat – racing or fluttering
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Extreme fatigue

Nine out of ten victims who receive a shock from an AED within the first minute of SCA survive.4 Ensuring that your students and coaches are trained to respond to an SCA emergency could help save a life.

Download the ‘Help in a Heartbeat’ flyer to educate your team about the symptoms of SCA.

To learn more about the latest package from Cardiopartners to help your athletic teams respond to any emergency, visit: https://www.aed.com/zoll-aed-plus-athletic-director-s-package

1 “Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Teenage Athletes: What’s the Risk?”. Promise powered by Nemours Children’s Health System. https://blog.nemours.org/2017/02/sudden-cardiac-arrest-teenage-athletes-risk/

2 “Young Athletes & Sudden Cardiac Arrest”. Boston Scientific. http://www.your-heart-health.com/content/close-the-gap/en-US/heart-disease-facts/young-athletes.html

3 “Sports and Sudden Cardiac Arrest(SCA)”. Cardiosmart – American College of Cardiology. https://www.cardiosmart.org/Heart-Conditions/Sports-and-Sudden-Cardiac-Arrest

4Source: 2017, AHA Mediagenic Survey Results; 2017, AHA with Edelman Intelligence; 2017, AHA with BLR Media; Postgrad Medical Journal, October 2007.

5”Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in Student-Athletes”. California Interscholastic Federation. http://www.cifstate.org/sports-medicine/sca/index

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 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!

Commotio Cordis: Secret Killer in Young Athletes

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

http://www.aed.com/aed-packages-page/athletic-aed-packages.html

 

Why We Need AEDs in Schools

 

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.

Regional Efforts for AED Placement

AED Placement

According to Live 5 News out of Charleston, SC, emergency responders have been mapping out the placement of AED’s in the Lowcountry for a couple of years now. EMS Chief Carl Fehr says they created an AED database to make it easier when someone calls 911. Dispatchers will talk lay responders through the process of doing CPR and also let them know where they can find an AED.

Over 500 devices have been registered. however, they believe there are several that still need to be accounted for in the community. Businesses have access to register their AEDs in a database so when someone calls from that location, the dispatcher can see where the AED is placed within the building.

Back in December of 2016, Tony Butler and his teammates were playing basketball at the Mt. Pleasant town hall gym. Butler’s medical checkups have always been good, his blood pressure normal. Yet, as he puts it, “it happened.”

Butler had just wrapped up one game, and the guys playing the next court over convinced him to stay and join in.

“I was there about 5 minutes and didn’t feel right,” said Butler. “So I went and sat on the bench. And they tell me I slid onto the floor and was… was gone.”

His heart stopped. One player called 911. Someone else ran to the police station next door.

“And one of them went to the office and got the AED,” said Butler. Luckily, firefighters were at the gym by that point and could use the AED quickly. “They zapped me two or three times. The next thing I remember is being in the ambulance. Going across the bridge.”

Butler survived. He is still sore from his ribs being broken during chest compressions. He’s working on building up his basketball stamina again.

The goal is for people who witness a cardiac emergency to think not only to call 911, but to also think to grab an AED. While training helps with a rescuer’s comfort level, you don’t have to be trained.

Anyone can use an AED.

You do have to know where it is, which is why the regional registration database is so useful for someone calling 911.

“I think every business should have one,” Butler said about AEDs.

Source: live5news.com