Thursday, May 23, 2013

Defibrillator Used on Lancaster Student in Cardiac Arrest

1:23 PM, May 22, 2013
Posted By: Collin Bishop

LANCASTER, NY - A female student at Lancaster High School went into cardiac arrest this morning in the school.

According to a spokeswoman for the district, another student got the nurse and they called 911.

Bowmansville Fire Department responded and used a defibrillator on the student at the school.

She is now being treated at the hospital.

There is no word on her condition but the spokeswoman says she is doing well.

Monday, May 20, 2013

5 Things You Need to Know About AEDs

When the chance to save a life from cardiac arrest comes up, will you be ready?
By Jennifer Brown, Everyday Health Staff Writer
FRIDAY, May 17, 2013 — Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the U.S. and in the workplace today, but with simple training, you can be ready to respond if someone needs your help. As a malfunction of the heart’s electrical system, cardiac arrest is sometimes a complication of ventricular fibrillation, and causes more than half of the deaths that result from cardiovascular disease. Survival rates jump up sharply from 5 percent to more than 80 percent when someone steps in and quickly uses an automated external defibrillator (AED) to restart the heart. To encourage people to help others without the worry of litigation, Good Samaritan laws protect those who intervene in an emergency in the U.S.
Here's what you need to know:
What is an AED?
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a small computerized medical device that analyzes a person’s heart rhythm. The AED is programmed to detect the type of heart rhythm which requires intervention. It includes simple instructions and automated voice directions. Used by a trained operator outside of the hospital setting, the AED gives an electrical shock called defibrillation to restart a person’s heart, if needed. Using an AED within the first few minutes can reverse cardiac arrest and saves lives.
How does an AED work? 
An AED measures the unresponsive person’s heart rhythm. The computerized device then selects and delivers automated voice instructions to the rescuer, based on the heart rhythm.  The AED safely delivers an electric shock to the victim’s chest that can reset normal heart rhythm at once. “It is essential that quick defibrillation occur in order to save the patient’s life.  With each minute the patient is in ventricular fibrillation the likelihood of survival goes down,” Kevin R. Campbell, MD, FACC, a cardiologist at UNC Health Care/Rex said. The benefits to the patient are tremendous, he added, “AEDs change the survival rate from less than 5 percent to more than 80 percent with quick defibrillation.” With simple training, you can greatly change the person’s odds of survival during cardiac arrest. 
When do I use an AED?
Cardiac arrest can occur anytime and anyplace without warning. During cardiac arrest, the person’s heart beat becomes irregular and erratic — known as ventricular fibrillation — and unless a shock is delivered, the patient will die. “Every minute that a patient remains in the erratic heart rhythm, the likelihood of survival goes down exponentially,” says Dr. Campbell. In his experience, heart attacks often occur in the early morning hours when adrenaline and cortisol levels are at their highest.
The operator of an AED must be able to detect symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest. It is time to get an AED if a person:
  • Becomes unresponsive suddenly
  • Stops breathing
  • Does not respond when you tap on the shoulders firmly
  • Does not respond when you ask, “Are you OK?”
  • Does not take a breath when you tilt the head up
This is the emergency situation where every minute counts, so call 911 and get an AED.
Where can I find an AED?
The American Heart Association encourages public access to AEDs which should now be available wherever a large group congregates. Laws differ by state, but many states require AEDs in public areas like schools, health clubs, and sports stadiums. All emergency response vehicles are equipped with AEDs. “I believe that every single public school in the country should have an AED readily available,” said Campbell. It may be difficult to locate an AED in an emergency, and so having these devices clearly marked at the worksite and in public areas is essential. Ask where the AED is in your worksite today.
How can I get trained on using an AED to save hearts and lives?
The American Heart Association’s Heartsaver training on performing using an AED is available online, with follow-up hands-on training with instructors. The American Red Cross provides live training and certification for AED use in many communities. Training takes only a few hours because an AED is simple to use and every device includes clear directions. According to the Red Cross, training people to use AEDs and providing ready access to them could save as many as 50,000 lives yearly. “I think that everyone should be trained,” said Campbell.
Have you taken AED training course? Please share your experiences with Everyday Health readers by adding a comment in the box below the article.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Keep Youth Sports Safety Top of Mind: Guidelines from National Athletic Trainers’ Association


By Staff Editor
May 15, 2013 - 10:04:15 AM

( - DALLAS, May 15, 2013 - With the spring sports season well underway and summer preseason practices and youth league games around the corner, young athletes are already enjoying warm weather activities and competition. "Every team and athlete should have sports safety as a top priority," says Larry Cooper, chair of the National Athletic Trainers' Association Secondary School Committee and head athletic trainer at Penn Trafford (Pa.) High School. "It's vital for coaches, athletic trainers, parents and the athletes themselves to maintain go od communication and follow guidelines to ensure all participants are fit for play."

NATA hosted the 4th Youth Sports Safety Summit earlier this year with the support of the Youth Sports Safety Alliance, now composed of 109 organizations committed to keeping athletes safe, and launched the first-ever National Action Plan for Sports Safety and Student Athlete Bill of Rights ( "Each athlete is entitled to appropriate care, prevention and treatment of injuries should they occur," says Cooper.

NATA offers several sports safety tips to keep athletes in the game:

1. Make sure the athlete is physically and mentally in the game: Parents, with assistance from coaches, should determine whether their children are physically and psychologically conditioned for the sport/activity level they're playing. Do not push children into something they do not want to do. Additionally, if an athlete has been injured and is returning to sport, it's critical for him or her to have the right mind set and confidence to return to play and avoid repeat injury.

2. Get a pre-participation exam: All athletes should have a pre-participation exam to determine their readiness to play and uncover any condition that may limit participation.

3. Follow a team approach to care: In the case of injury, find out who will provide care and ask to review their credentials. Many schools and sports teams rely on athletic trainers or parents with medical and first aid training and certification to keep kids safe. Yet less than half of high schools have access to athletic trainers.

4. Beat the heat: Acclimatize athletes to warm weather activities over a 14-day period. The goal is to increase exercise heat tolerance and enhance the ability to exercise safely and effectively in warm and hot conditions. Should heat illness occur, cool first and transport second: immediate cold water immersion is critical to reducing the athlete's temperature rapidly. Determine core body t emperature to best assess the athlete's condition.

5. Use your head: Athletes should be encouraged to speak up if they are suffering any related symptoms (dizziness, loss of memory, fatigue). Concussions must be carefully managed using follow up assessments of symptoms, neurocognitive function and balance, prior to initiating a gradual return to play. Should a more serious brain injury occur, the medical staff should be prepared to transport the athlete to a facility, while ensuring adequate ventilation and elevating the head to decrease intracranial pressure.

6. Maintain Heart health: Recognition is vital to treatment: sudden cardiac arrest should be suspected in any athl ete who has collapsed and is unresponsive. Public access to early defibrillation is essential: a goal of less than 3-5 minutes from the time of collapse to delivery of the first shock from an automated external defibrillator (AED) is strongly recommended. Most schools now have AEDS. Ensure that the medical expert and other personnel know where they are located, how to use them and that they are placed on sidelines during competitions and games.

7. Share an athlete's medical history: Parents should complete an emergency medical authorization form, providing parent contact information and permission for emergency medical care for the student athlete. Check with your school/league to obtain the form.

8. Ensure equipment is in working order: Make sure all equipment ranging from field goals, basketball flooring, gymnastics apparatus and field turf are in safe and working order. This also includes emergency medical equipment such as spine boards, splint devices, AEDs (which should be checked once per month; batteries and pads need consistent monitoring and replacing). All it takes is a slip on a wet surface or twist of an ankle on an ungroomed field to lead to lower extremity injuries, among others.

9. Ascertain coaches' qualifications: A background check should always be performed on coaches and volunteers:

-       Coaches should have background and knowledge in the sport they are coaching. They should be credentialed if that is a requirement in the state, conference or league.

-       Coaches should have cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), AED and first aid training.

-       Coaches should strictly enforce the sports rules and have a plan for dealing with emergencies.

-       Ensure appropriate credentials for coaching from the respective sport governing body.

-       Coaches can also take an online course by visiting:

10. Check that locker rooms, gyms and shower surfaces are clean: With the advent of MRSA and related bacterial, viral and fungal skin infections reported in recent years, it is critical to keep these surfaces routinely cleaned and checked for germs. Athletes must be discouraged from sharing towels, athletic gear, water bottles, disposable razors and hair clippers. All clothing and equipment, including bags, should be laundered and/or disinfected on a daily basis.

11. Be smart about sickle cell trait: All newborns are tested at birth for this particular inherited condition and those results should be shared during a pre-participation exam. Red blood cells can sickle during intense exertion, blocking blood vessels and posing a grave risk for athletes with the sickle cell trait. Screening and simple precautions may prevent deaths and help the athlete with sickle cell trait thrive in his or her chosen sport. Know the signs and symptoms (fatigue or shortness of breath) to differentiate this condition from other causes of collapse.

12. Ensure an emergency action plan is in place: Every team should have a written emergency action plan, reviewed by the athletic trainer or local Emergency Medical Service. Individual assignments and emergency equipment and supplies need to be included in the emergency action plan. If an athletic trainer is not employed by the school or sport league, qualified individuals need to be present to render care. Knowing that a school has prepared for emergency will give parents peace of mind.

13. Adopt a "Time Out" system: Each health care team should take a "Time Out" before athletic events to ensure emergency action plans are reviewed and in place. Determine the role of each person; communication coordination; presence of ambulance; designated hospital; test of all emergency equipment; issues that could impact the plan such as weather or other considerations.

14. Build in recovery time: Allow time for the body to rest and rejuvenate in between practices, games and even seasons. "Recovery time is essential," says Cooper. "Without rest and a change of motion and activity, we put young athletes at risk of repetitive or chronic injury."

15. Breathe easier: Athletes with asthma should be properly educated about their condition, appropriate medications, use of inhaler equipment and how to recognize "good or bad" breathing days to prevent exacerbations. A warm up protocol may decrease the risk of asthma or reliance on medications.

16. Stay smart about steroids: Use of anabolic-androgenic steroids can lead to a host of negative effects on the health and well-being of athletes and non-athletes alike. Be aware of signs and symptoms of misuse including: rapid body mass or increase in performance; extreme muscular growth; abnormal or excessive acne, unexplained hypertension, moodiness, aggression, depression or obsession with exercise and diet. Report this immediately to the athletic trainer or other school medical professionals.

"It's critical that all members of a school's athletic health care team, parents, teachers and others involved in the care of the athlete have ongoing communication to ensure a safe sports setting," says Cooper. "With those protocols in place, athletes can enjoy the great spirit, competition, and ac complishment that come from safe and fair play."

"And, if your school is following the right protocols, enter it in the NATA Safe School award program that recognizes schools implementing appropriate steps to keep athletes safe. It is a win-win for students, the athletic health care team and school at large."

For more information on the award program, visit

About NATA: National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) - Heal th Care for Life & Sport

Athletic trainers are health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and sport-related illnesses. They prevent and treat chronic musculoskeletal injuries from sports, physical and occupational activity, and provide immediate care for acute injuries. Athletic trainers offer a continuum of care that is unparalleled in health care. The National Athletic Trainers' Association represents and supports 35,000 members of the athletic training profession. Visit

Chest protectors may not prevent sports-related heart trauma

Chest protectors may not prevent sports-related heart trauma

The Record
Once it was apparent that 8-year-old Ian McGreevy was doing "great" after being struck in the chest by a ball during a youth baseball game last weekend, many North Jersey parents focused on safety.
McDavid USA makes a shirt with built-in chest padding that sells for $39.99.
McDavid USA makes a shirt with built-in chest padding that sells for $39.99.
Ian's mother, Lisa McGreevy of Northvale, said Sunday that she will lobby for children to wear chest protectors on the field, similar to those worn by lacrosse players.
While chest protectors could help with traumatic injuries like broken bones and serious bruising, there is no evidence that they protect against cardiac events caused by the trauma of being hit in the chest.
"If there is any evidence on that topic at all, it is actually to the contrary," said Mike Oliver, executive director of National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE), an independent and non-profit standard-setting organization trying to improve athletic safety through scientific research and the creation of performance standards for protective equipment. "It's a real difficult issue."
The evidence goes against common sense.
"Logically if there's a chest protector that would prevent the transmission of the energy of that blunt trauma to be transmitted to the chest and then to the heart then, theoretically, it might prevent it," said Fuad Kiblawi, pediatric cardiologist at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Paterson.
However, none of the chest protectors on the market, according to Kiblawi, have been proven to decrease the chance of ventricular fibrillation, a problem with the heart's rhythm that will cause victims to collapse within seconds and stop breathing.
Kiblawi added it might be worth taking a chance that a chest protector could slow down the impact to a speed that wouldn't cause the medical chain reaction.
"Chest protectors, they haven't been proven to help, but there's no reason to assume it's impossible that they would have any sort of benefit," he said.
What happened Saturday to Ian McGreevy and the conversation about safety equipment that has followed isn't new.
In 2010, 16-year-old Garfield resident Thomas Adams was hit in the chest with a baseball during a practice. He was wearing a catcher's chest protector at the time and died.
In 2006, Wayne's Steven Domalewski, was 12 when he was hit in the chest by a line drive. He was left brain-damaged after his brain was denied oxygen.
Thomas' death and Steven's disability were both attributed to commotio cordis, ventricular fibrillation caused by blunt trauma to the chest.
Commotio cordis is the second highest cause of death in athletes younger than 14, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Children ages 5 to 14 may be uniquely vulnerable to this blunt chest impact, the AAP said, because their chest walls are more elastic and more easily compressed.
It is unknown if commotio cordis caused Ian to stop breathing, but descriptions of the event make it a possibility, according to Kiblawi.
A policy statement from the AAP's Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness in 2012 said, "Although protective gear can be a key preventive measure, it is not always effective. Research has shown that even with protective gear, the fatality rate for commotio cordis is alarmingly high at 90 percent."
Beyond typical chest protectors worn by baseball and softball catchers, as well as lacrosse and hockey players, there are commercially available items like shirts with chest pads or plastic "heart guards."
Charlie Coleman, who owns Farrier Sporting Goods in Wyckoff, regularly sells a protective shirt that has a pad in the chest area.
Coleman can date the uptick in sales to the Domalewski tragedy. After that incident, there was a call by some to take aluminum bats out of the youth games. Now, there is a discussion about chest protectors. There is no single, simple answer, however.
"Anything that would alter these variables might help," said Kiblawi. "The softness of the ball and compactness of the ball, they're directly related to the incidence of commotio cordis. So softer, more like safety balls for kids may help. Still, there's no studies showing that."
One issue with certain types of protective shirts, according to Oliver, is that the padding is typically in the center of the chest and not the "cardiac silhouette" where impact causes commotio cordis.
Preparation is as important as possible prevention, according to Gregg Heinzmann, director of the Youth Sports Council at Rutgers University.
"We should do all we can to minimize the risk of injury in young athletes," Heinzmann said. "And we should include this injury among the considerations. The appropriate strategy on the part of the leagues and the recreation departments that administer youth sports is to train the coaches and re-evaluate their emergency action plans so that in the event of a serious injury, emergency medical personnel can arrive on the scene as quickly as possible."
The Youth Sports Council recommendation is that there is one person at every game and practice with the skill and training to effectively administer CPR and use an automated external defibrillator.
Death is preventable, the AAP policy notes, by immediate response of CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator. It was the quick-thinking CPR of Maureen Renaghan that Lisa McGreevy credits with saving her son Ian's life.
You Tube
PO Box 767
Northport, NY 11768
Phone: 631-754-1091