Sporting events are a culmination of an athletes training and they are coached to push their bodies to the limits to win. Occasionally this leads to injuries during competition. One of the unseen and often undetected ailments of an athlete is their heart. Whether they have genetic conditions not yet diagnosed, receive serious trauma to the chest, or even just poor life choices may lead to an athlete with a compromised heart collapsing on the field. In professional sporting events there is normally a full team of medical professionals ready to aid any player who is injured on the field. But what about youth and collegiate sporting events?

In youth sporting teams the Coach and Referee are required to be CPR certified and an AED must be present onsite. But Direct blows to  players chest often results in people hesitating and slight confusion, does he have the wind knocked out of him? Or is he in bigger trouble? This is part of the reason CPR training needs to be certified every two years, not only to stay up to date but to make sure care is given quickly and correctly.

The number of young athletes that suffer cardiac emergencies is rare but when a young person has an underlying heart condition it can be brought under the light during fast paced sporting events. That mixed with the potential of commotion cordis, which is just caused by blunt contact to the chest, can lead to a fatal abnormal heart rhythm. If this occurs the only thing that can save them is proper CPR and an AED. There is no way without changing the rules of certain sports to eliminate direct blows to the chest. Whether a pitcher throws a wild ball, or a lacrosse defender gets in the way of a shot, and of course basically any hit in a football game, these events may lead to a cardiac emergency and it is crucial someone is there with proper training.

As a player or a parent you may see the need to get CPR/AED certified. No matter your job or education becoming CPR certified is not out of reach. At American Medical Solutions we can teach you the proper way to administer CPR and operate an AED. More and more sporting organizations are requiring CPR/AED training and you can see its effectiveness in the numbers from 1970-1993 the survival rate was only 10%, and statistics from 2006-2012 has increased to 58%. You never know when a child or teammate may collapse during training or after a sporting event when the coaches and referees are gone and being prepared may just save a life.