The chilling scene that filled our television screens on Monday night of Buffalo’s Damar Hamlin collapsing on the field due to sudden cardiac arrest should serve as a strong reminder for anyone involved in youth sports in any capacity that it can strike any athlete at any time.
And how fast the response can be the difference between survival and death.
Fast-acting medical personnel administered CPR to Hamlin on the field before transporting him to the hospital but imagine this scenario occurring during a mid-week practice or Saturday morning game in your community.
Who’s trained and capable of rushing to perform CPR while emergency responders are on their way?
A few years ago, we partnered with Simon’s Heart to provide Sudden Cardiac Arrest Training.
It’s free to anyone.
And it takes less time to complete than watching your favorite Netflix show.
“Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death of student athletes in this country,” says Darren Sudman, founder of Simon’s Heart, which is a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest and death in children.
Their organization is terrific, and the training they put together is outstanding.
From the comfort of home coaches, parents and youth sports administrators can learn about the warning signs and symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest and how to handle a medical emergency if an athlete collapses.
Because every single second matters.
“Understand that for each minute that passes in a cardiac event the chance of survival decreases by 10 percent,” Stacy Carone, the Associate Athletics Director for Sports Medicine at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, told us. “So making a very quick decision can be the difference between life and death in a cardiac situation.”
A 2022 American Heart Association report revealed that sudden cardiac arrest remains a public health crisis.
And studies show that approximately 3,000 people under the age of 25 die from sudden cardiac arrest each year – and roughly 40 percent of those deaths occur in a sports-related setting.
The numbers are grim.
But perhaps a whole lot of good can come from last night’s really scary situation.
Because the more people in our youth sports programs who are trained in CPR, the better protected our young athletes will be.Sudden Cardiac Arrest Health Safety Emergency CPR AED
National Alliance for Youth Sports, Inc
5670 Corporate Way
West Palm Beach, FL 33407
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