Children playing lacrosse copyright Jennifer Arebalo,

New CPR & First Aid in Youth Sports kit aims to teach lifesaving skills

The American Heart Association and US Lacrosse join to combat sports-related emergencies

News Release, American Heart Association

DALLAS, Jan. 10, 2019 — In its commitment to be a global force for longer, healthier lives, the American Heart Association® unveiled its new lifesaving training kit at LaxCon 2020, January 10 – 12 in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The Association and US Lacrosse, the national governing body of men’s and women’s lacrosse and the home of the nation’s fastest-growing team sport, share a desire for safety and preparedness for all youth sports participants. 

The new CPR & First Aid in Youth Sports™ Training Kit is designed specifically for youth sports coaches and parents to teach the lifesaving skill of CPR, how to use an AED, and how to help during sports-related emergencies.  It is completely self-facilitated, with no additional training required for a facilitator.

Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in athletes during exercise and usually results from underlying cardiac conditions that are triggered by the demands of vigorous exercise.[1] 

“Sudden cardiac death during sports is a tragic event that has a significant impact not only on the victim but also on the broader community. Coaches and athletic trainers play a pivotal role in the prevention, management, and aftermath of sudden cardiac arrest in young athletes,” said Raina Merchant, MS, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and chair of the Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee at the American Heart Association. “Preparing coaches and athletic trainers for an emergency is important for improving the likelihood of survival in the event of cardiac arrest. CPR is an important skill everyone should know and could double or triple a person’s chance of survival.”

From July 2017 to June 2018, there were a total of 85 catastrophic cardiac-related injuries or illnesses among high school and college organized sports participants due to or during sport-related activities.[2] Current rates of sudden cardiac death appear to be at least 4 to 5 times higher than previously estimated, with men, African Americans, and specifically male basketball players being at greatest risk.[3]

“Often in youth sports, there are no athletic trainers, EMS or other first responders on-site, so if a cardiac arrest occurs during practice or a game, it is important that coaches, parents, and athletes are prepared to act,” said Bruce Griffin, Ph.D., and the director of the Center for Sport Science at US Lacrosse.

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