BALTIMORE – The importance of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) at athletic events was clearly evident this week as a high school lacrosse player's life was saved by an AED.
According to a report from the Syracuse Post-Standard, Dan Cochran, a sophomore at Jamesville-DeWitt, was participating in tryouts for a summer all-star team when he was hit in the chest by another player's shot, and his heart stopped beating. Cyndi Kelder, a trainer at Fayetteville-Manlius, where the tryouts were taking place, used an AED to restart Cochran's heart.
"We're ecstatic that this case had such a positive outcome," said Joshua Christian, managing director, sport development at US Lacrosse. "This was a prime example of the importance of having trained medical personnel and the appropriate equipment at a venue."
It is believed that Cochran had an episode of commotio cordis. Commotio cordis is a medical term that refers to a rare but potentially fatal phenomenon in athletes participating in sporting events that results in sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Commotio cordis happens when a blunt but often relatively mild blow (normally from a moving object) to the chest occurs directly over the heart during a precise moment of the heart’s normal rhythm cycle and induces SCA in the victim.
US Lacrosse remains diligent in its efforts to pursue greater research on commotio cordis along with increasing overall awareness and education around this deadly phenomenon. Tragically, there have been fatalities in lacrosse due to commotio cordis (as well as other youth sports such as baseball and ice hockey). Somewhat surprisingly, developments in protective equipment across all sports have proven, to date, to be ineffective in preventing commotio cordis. It is clear that the most effective treatment for SCA and, indeed the only effective treatment for commotio cordis, is the timely delivery of a life-saving shock from an AED.
US Lacrosse has had a strategic alliance with Cardiac Science for several years to help make AEDs more affordable to youth lacrosse programs and to raise awareness of commotio cordis. Last year, US Lacrosse awarded AED grants to 14 youth lacrosse programs and the organization is currently accepting applications through July 1 for its next AED grant cycle. Application information can be found here:
About US Lacrosse
US Lacrosse, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, is the national governing body for men’s and women’s lacrosse. US Lacrosse is the parent organization of the U.S. men’s and women’s national teams program. US Lacrosse has nearly 350,000 members in 63 regional chapters around the country. Through responsive and effective leadership, US Lacrosse strives to provide programs and services to inspire participation while protecting the integrity of the game. To learn more about US Lacrosse, please visit www.uslacrosse.org.