Parents and coaches of young athletes can learn how to help during sports-related emergencies with a new CPR & First Aid in Youth Sports™ Training Kit being offered y the American Heart Association (AHA). The kit, which is completely self-facilitated, with no additional training required for a facilitator, will teach those who use it the lifesaving skill of CPR, how to use an AED, and other first aid information. During the training session, CPR and first aid skills are taught using the AHA’s research-proven practice-while-watching technique. The portable kit contains everything needed to train 10 to 20 people at once in CPR & sports related injury first aid.
“Sudden cardiac death during sports is a tragic event that has a significant impact not only on the victim, but also 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 AHA. “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. 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.
In releasing the kit, the AHA is partnering with US Lacrosse, the national governing body of men’s and women’s lacrosse and the home of the nation’s fastest-growing team sport.
“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, PhD, and the director of the Center for Sport Science at US Lacrosse.
 Catastrophic Sports Injury Research: Thirty-Sixth Annual Report. National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, spring 2018, https://nccsir.unc.edu/files/2019/10/2018-Catastrophic-Report-AS-36th-AY2017-2018-FINAL.pdf.