men playing football

What CPR class should I register for as a Coach? 

When volunteering to coach a youth sport you may be asked to become CPR and first aid certified. As an American Heart Association training center, Code One offers these courses along with many others. The course you would be looking to register for is called Heartsaver & Skills Session, which includes First Aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)/ automated external defibrillator (AED) training.

Please note that some states and conferences may have specific first aid course requirements for their coaches so please check your local protocols before attending a class.

What to expect in this course:

This course starts online with learning modules that will take you through what to do during a sudden cardiac emergency, along with other urgent scenarios. After completion of the online material, you will need to schedule a skills session at one of our locations. During that session, one of our instructors will greet you on screen via a google meeting and assist you through the class. We will test your skills on responding to sudden cardiac emergencies using our RQI 1 stop station, use of AED, anaphylactic shock, and excessive bleeding. At the completion of this session, a certificate will be sent to you via e-mail and is valid for two years. 

How important are AEDs in sudden cardiac emergencies?

Sudden cardiac emergencies can happen for many reasons, and may impacts people of all ages with and without previously diagnosed medical conditions. As more than half of all sudden cardiac emergencies happen out side of the hospital setting, it important that we as a community, are equipped to help those in need. Forever minute an individual goes without defibrillation their chance of survival decreases by7-10% (Penn, n.d.) Overall, 9% of those who received CPR via by-standard intervention without an AED survived, while 38% of those who received CPR via by-standard intervention with AED application and shock delivered survived (Weisfeldt et al, 2010). 

Should my organization have AED’s?

Sudden cardiac arrest is unpredictable, and the number one cause of death in young athletes. This is why many states have mandated that all schools have AEDs on site (Korioth & Writer, 2017). Rather or not, you are working for a school or a private league, ask the management team if they have AEDs at the training site and on location for games. Make sure you know where they are located so you will be ready get them in the event they are needed. 

Code One’s sister company AED TEAM specializes in the outdoor placement of defibrillators on athletic fields. Check out the CE-TEK 4000 Outdoor AED Enclosure for an easy to implement strategy to make AEDs available 24/7.

One injury you may see on the athletic field that can result in sudden cardiac arrest is commotio cordis. This is caused by a sudden blunt injury to the chest. This cause of sudden cardiac arrest is usually seen in males while playing sports such as baseball. Most commotio cordis victims are between the ages of 15-20 (Link, 2012). Resuscitation success for victims of commotio cordis seem to be the same as for those who have suffered sudden cardiac arrest for other causes (Link, 2012). It is important that we utilize AEDs as quickly as possible in these scenarios.  

Another condition to be aware of is exertional heat stroke. When athletes are pushing themselves, especially in hotter weather and when lacking adequate hydration, they may find themselves victim of a heat stroke. Some signs of exertional heat stroke are; irrational behavior, altered consciousness, dizziness, headaches, confusion, and a core temp greater than 104 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are suspecting that your athlete might be suffering from a heat stroke or heat exhaustion, begin cooling measures immediately. You may place ice under their arms, behind their neck, and between their legs/ groin area, along with misting them with cool water or applying cold wet sheets that have been soaking in ice water. Also, call for emergency services immediately. Sudden cardiac arrest may accompany exertional heat stroke; be sure to have an AED ready and keep a watchful eye on the victim just incase their condition takes a turn.

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