Management of Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Athletes

Course summary

course type Article
units 1.00
cost $12.00
questions 5

Abstract --

OBJECTIVE To assist high school and college athletic programs
prepare for and respond to a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). This
consensus statement summarizes our current understanding of SCA
in young athletes, defines the necessary elements for emergency
preparedness, and establishes uniform treatment protocols for the
management of SCA.
BACKGROUND Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of
death in young athletes. The increasing presence of and timely
access to automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at sporting
events provides a means of early defibrillation and the potential
for effective secondary prevention of sudden cardiac death. An
Inter-Association Task Force was sponsored by the National Athletic
Trainers? Association to develop consensus recommendations
on emergency preparedness and management of SCA in athletes.
RECOMMENDATIONS Comprehensive emergency planning is
needed for high school and college athletic programs to ensure an
efficient and structured response to SCA. Essential elements of an
emergency action plan include establishing an effective communication
system, training of anticipated responders in cardiopulmonary
resuscitation and AED use, access to an AED for early
defibrillation, acquisition of necessary emergency equipment, coordination
and integration of onsite responder and AED programs
with the local emergency medical services system, and practice
and review of the response plan. Prompt recognition of SCA, early
activation of the emergency medical services system, the presence
of a trained rescuer to initiate cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and
access to early defibrillation are critical in the management of
SCA. In any collapsed and unresponsive athlete, SCA should be
suspected and an AED applied as soon as possible for rhythm
analysis and defibrillation if indicated.
KEYWORDS Sudden cardiac death; Athletes; Emergency preparedness;
Emergency action plan; Automated external defibrillators
(Heart Rhythm 2007;4:549 ?565) ? 2007 Heart Rhythm Society. All
rights reserved.