September 7, 2012
As stated in our last posting, preparticipation physical examinations are imperative; but their practical limitations will not permit every heart defect to be discovered prior to participation.
So if sudden cardiac arrest is not 100 percent preventable within the modest means of school sports, the following measures represent the standard that parents would expect – reasonable or not – for the children they put in the care of those administering school sports:
1. There should always be a staff person nearby who holds current certification in CPR.
2. There should always be an AED nearby and in working order, and a staff person nearby who has demonstrated proficiency in its use.
3. There should always be an emergency plan in place with which coaches and trainers are familiar because they not only were presented it, they also practiced it.
Time is of the essence when sudden cardiac arrest occurs; and these three measures combine to deliver competent care quickly.