Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the United States, taking the lives of an estimated 400,000 people each year. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the electrical system of the heart malfunctions, causing the heart to stop beating. Sudden cardiac arrest is an indiscriminant killer and can strike anyone - including seemingly healthy young athletes, as we chronicled in this story.
One rare but potentially catastrophic phenomenon in athletes that results in sudden cardiac arrest is commotio cordis. Commotio cordis occurs when a blunt, but often relatively mild, blow to the area of the chest directly over the heart occurs during a precise moment of heart's cycle, leading to sudden cardiac arrest.
Cardiac Safety - An AED on Every Field
The most effective treatment for sudden cardiac arrest and, indeed, the only effective response to commotio cordis, is the timely delivery of a life-saving shock or defibrillation. Automated External Defibrillators (AED) are portable and easy-to-use devices that deliver potentially life-saving defibrillation therapy quickly and effectively, and US Lacrosse strongly encourages all programs to have an AED available for practices and games. To help support that effort, US Lacrosse periodically provides grants to member organizations to acquire AED units. Follow the link below to learn more about the Grant Process and access the Interest Form to stay up to date on evolving grant cycles and deadlines.
You can support the Cardiac Safety effort by making a gift that has the power to save a life. Donor support truly can help make lacrosse safer.
CPR and First Aid Training Kit
US Lacrosse has worked with the American Heart Association to meet the needs of local lacrosse teams and leagues with the development of an easy-to-use CPR & First Aid in Youth Sports Training Kit. This portable training kit is designed to facilitate training for youth coaches to ensure they know the lifesaving skills of CPR, how to use an AED, and how to help during sports related emergencies.