US Lacrosse, the national governing body of men’s and women’s lacrosse, and the American Heart Association (AHA), the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease, announce agreement to increase educational opportunities among the general lacrosse community and among US Lacrosse members on how to help during a cardiac arrest.

Since cardiac arrest can happen anywhere, at any time, it is important that everyone be educated about the life-saving skill of CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Studies have shown that immediate CPR can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. Using an automated external defibrillator (AED) within 3-5 minutes of cardiac arrest can also dramatically increase survival.

“Typically in youth sports, there are no athletic trainers, EMS or other medical service personnel on sight. If a cardiac arrest occurs during practice or during a game, it is important that coaches are trained and prepared to act,” said Bruce Griffin, director of the Center for Sport Science at US Lacrosse.

As part of the agreement, the AHA will develop a training kit designed for youth sports, with input from US Lacrosse on the training assets. Offered at discount to local lacrosse organizations, the kit will provide education for Hands-Only CPR training and the use of AED devices, which must be purchased separately. The goal is to utilize the kit to provide easy CPR and AED training for coaches, parents and other league leaders.

US Lacrosse and the AHA will utilize their respective communication channels to raise awareness of the training program for the youth sports market. Additionally, US Lacrosse will leverage its connections to other youth sports organizations and governing bodies to encourage non-lacrosse coaches and leaders to also pursue CPR and AED training.

“Cardiac arrest can happen anywhere, at any time, and the practice field is no exception. More than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually; the survival rate is 12 percent,” said John Meiners, chief of mission aligned business at the AHA. “We can improve survival by ensuring everyone, including the youth sports community, is educated about the lifesaving skill of CPR and familiar with how to operate an AED.”

“US Lacrosse and the Center for Sport Science is committed to creating a safe sports culture and seeks to be proactive in preparing coaches for emergency situations,” Griffin said. “The increased risk of commotio cordis in our sport drives our desire to provide education, information and equipment to our members and to the national lacrosse community.”

US Lacrosse Sports Medicine Symposium

Learn more about cardiac arrest, commotio cordis and AEDs by attending the US Lacrosse Sports Medicine Symposium on January 20. The event is open to all coaches and administrators.

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