Defibrillators May Save the Lives of Young Athletes

September 20, 2011
Throughout the late summer months every year, as high school athletic programs begin training, we hear of athletes dying from sudden cardiac arrest. Experts say that having better access to life saving devices such as defibrillators may be the best way to protect our child athletes from this danger.
KSDK 5 News reported that in 2006, a 15-year-old Lincoln County teen died on the basketball court of his school after suffering sudden cardiac arrest in the middle of a game. His mother said the school had an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), but had it locked away in an office. She says the device could have saved her son’s life.
In 2010, a 13-year-old boy suffered an attack and fell on the gym floor at Francis Howell Middle School. The boy had a heart defect that had gone unnoticed throughout his life until the event occurred. His life was spared because the school had an AED on hand that was used to shock his heart back into rhythm.
Dr. Jennifer Silva with the St. Louis Children’s Hospital says having these devices handy at school are the best way to protect your children. Also, she states that if you suspect your child may be suffering from a heart defect, there are tests, like electrocardiograms, that can be administered.
The Missouri Personal Injury Lawyers with Cofman Townsley encourage parents to ask teachers and coaches if their school has an AED on hand. Also discuss the symptoms and dangers of sudden cardiac arrest with your student athlete.