By Doyice Cotten
Are you prepared for an emergency at your sport, recreation or fitness facility? If a participant collapses during a workout and has no heartbeat, does someone at your facility know what to do? Do you have personnel trained in CPR? Do you have an AED on hand? And someone who in trained to use it? These are all important questions for management at sport, recreation, and fitness facilities. None of us want to stand by and watch someone die who could have been saved!
Two recent events occurred in which team athletic trainers stepped in and saved the lives of collapsed athletes. This first incident involved a Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas and was reported by Fox 4 News:
Jesuit College Prep student Christian Lerma collapsed last Friday night during a soccer game against J.J. Pearce High School in Richardson. A trainer from the opposing team did CPR and used a defibrillator on Christian, ultimately saving his life.
J.J. Pearce athletic trainer Tara Grubbs recalls a close Friday night game against soccer rival Jesuit Prep. During the game, Christian suddenly went down and was unresponsive with labored breathing, signaling to Grubbs that it was cardiac arrest.
“I didn’t even have time to check his pulse or anything,” she said. “I just instinctively yelled, ‘Someone get me the AED.’”
J.J. Pearce senior Kent Malloy was Christian’s competitor that day, but the two have played on the same club soccer team for years.
“He wasn’t able to speak, and then his eyes rolled to the back of his head,” Kent said. “It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced.”
Grubbs is a mother of three who just returned from maternity leave three weeks ago. She put the defibrillator pads on Christian’s chest. After getting shocked and receiving CPR, Christian came to and was taken way in an ambulance.
The second instance occurred in White Plains, NY, when a life was saved by a quick acting athletic trainer. News 12 Westchester reported:
An athletic trainer snapped into action Friday to save a high school basketball player’s life.
The incident occurred during an Archbishop Stepinac High School basketball game after a player on the opposing team took a dangerous fall.
There was one minute left in the freshman basketball game between Archbishop Stepinac and Mount St. Michael Academy when the player from the Mountaineers jumped for a rebound but came down awkwardly.
“He landed, and when he landed on his back, he ended up smacking his head into the ground,” said athletic trainer Max Anderson.
Anderson says he ran from his corner in the back of the gym onto the court and performed rescue breaths and CPR on the injured athlete.
He says that within five compressions, the athlete was breathing again.
Each of these incidents had happy endings. Check to see that your facility is prepared to react quickly and effectively in such an emergency. Two things are necessary: a well-trained (CPR & AED certified) staff and an available AED.
Photo Credit: Thanks to Army Medicine via Flickr.