Archive for March, 2013


Cardiac Arrest in Youth Baseball

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Cardiac arrest is a rare occurrence in children, but it can happen, especially when associated with a sporting activity. There’ve been recorded incidents of cardiac arrest in children while participating in baseball, football, basketball, hockey, karate and even in soccer. Before parents begins pulling their child from all sports, let me explain that cardiac arrest is a very rare condition in children, but it would be prudent to be prepared and have training in CPR and first aid skills.

A condition called “Commotio Cordis” happens when a person receives a blow to the chest at a very specific time during a heartbeat. After the heart squeezes out blood, it goes through a resetting process before the next contraction. If a person receives a blow to the chest during this resetting period, the heart can begin to quiver. This quivering action is called ventricular fibrillation and in most situations, the method to cure this condition is called defibrillation, which is done with the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Most childhood sporting organizations now require that coaches and assisting personnel be trained in CPR. If an incident does occur, immediately have someone call 911 and begin CPR with chest compressions. AEDs have shown to be very instrumental in helping correct a heart that’s in fibrillation. Organizations should strongly consider purchasing and having an available AED at all games and practices.

Studies have shown that resuscitation rates from cardiac arrest increases significantly when an AED is used in conjunction with CPR within the first three minutes of a victim going into ventricular fibrillation. The longer it takes for this to happen the chances of survival decreases sharply. In most cases waiting for the ambulance to arrive, may be too late.

A child in cardiac arrest is very scary, but considering this is very rare it’s unlikely to happen to your child. Encourage your children to participate in sports and other physical activities, just be prepared to act with CPR and first aid skills in case of an emergency.

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