Sudden cardiac arrest doesn’t seem like the kind of condition that should happen to an athlete in high school or even younger. But we’ve seen enough cases now to know that young athletes can experience SCA. Most frequently, SCA tends to occur among basketball, soccer and football players around 17-18 years old. Still, it can happen in kids even younger, including athletes playing youth sports in junior high or elementary school. In a matter of seconds, the victim collapses to the ground unconscious due to an electrical condition in which the heart can’t efficiently pump blood to the body’s organs.
That’s when the person physically closest to the downed player may be their best hope at recovery without long-term damage – but only if they act within a few minutes. Specifically, the victim has 10 minutes maximum to be revived.
Plan for the event now: Is there an AED near the field?
If the nearest Automated External Defibrillator isn’t extremely close to the field and is back in the school, for example, that’s a huge risk. Think of how many minutes it can take to retrieve the device – and that’s if you know exactly where it’s located. Err on the side of safety. Get at least one additional AED right near the field so it’s immediately accessible by coaches or parents and ready to be used on the victim.
How do you know it’s sudden cardiac arrest?
Tap the victim to see that they’re unconscious. Listen closely to hear if they’re breathing and watch if their chest is moving up and down. If they’re not conscious and clearly not breathing, tell someone to call 9-1-1 and make sure to retrieve the AED.
Don’t wait for the paramedics to arrive! It’s time for you to become the first responder by using an AED to shock the heart and performing chest compressions.
Follow these steps in successive order:
- Turn on the AED and follow the prompts
- Open the victim’s shirt to attach the device’s pads
- Allow the AED to monitor the victim’s heart rhythm
- If a shock is required, tell everyone to stand clear and then press the shock button.
- After the shock is delivered, start administering CPR.
- Continue to perform CPR on the victim for two minutes, monitor breathing and then follow the instructions on the AED. Repeat this cycle until paramedics arrive or you see the victim’s condition has improved.
There may not be a guarantee that using an AED with CPR saves a child’s life, but we can say that by delivering a shock to their heart along with bystander CPR, you’re giving them a chance that unfortunately, so many victims rarely get as they don’t receive any CPR at all.
SOS Technologies is on your team for every season.
Let’s turn a potential “worst case scenario” into one for the better together by letting SOS Technologies, Chicagoland’s #1 resource for safety devices and training, connect with your school’s athletic department and coaching staff. In no time, we’ll give your athletic facilities and practice fields a solid and efficient safety evaluation, making smart recommendations for AEDs and first aid supplies in the process.
We’ll also be able to train your staff on how to operate an AED, administer CPR and perform a variety of first aid steps the right way.
Injuries don’t have an offseason. Fortunately, neither do we. Prepare your whole team with an action plan for safety all year round by reaching out to SOS Technologies today at 888.705.6100 or head here to request a quote on a Lifesaving Bundle For Schools.