Athletes are typically in great shape. While it might seem unthinkable that sports could be a cause for heart failure in athletes, the truth is that heart failure in sports can happen for a number of reasons. An AED, or automated external defibrillator, is a necessity in this scenario.
A growing number of sports venues are investing in AEDs. The reason is simple: an AED is the most efficient way to successfully provide immediate emergency medical care to an individual experiencing a cardiac event. In sports, heart failure, or cardiac arrest can occur due to an undiagnosed heart condition or trauma. When an athlete's heart stops beating, immediate care is needed to stimulate the heart's electrical conduction.
In an emergency situation where an athlete's heart has stopped beating, the best way for bystanders to respond is y contacting emergency services and then using an AED. These portable, lightweight devices can be used by anyone who can follow the simple instructions. In the event of spontaneous cardiac arrest, coaches, other players or spectators can easily use the AED to detect if defibrillation is necessary, and attach the electrodes, follow the given commands, and determine if defibrillation is necessary.
AEDs in sports make it possible to defibrillate the heart of an athlete who is suffering cardiac arrest. This method is the fastest, simplest, most reliable way to accomplish defibrillation on the field, at the court or in the rink. AEDs have been a standard in the medical field for some time, being used in paramedics, hospitals and doctor's offices. Now, athletic associations are seeing the need for AEDs in sports.
Large sports venues now have AEDs, but small sports groups are also using them. High school teams, for example, have seen the importance of having an AED on hand. In Rohnert Park, California, an eight year old boy suffered cardiac arrest during a baseball game. He was up to bat, and the pitcher threw the ball. The boy was unable to hit the ball; instead, the baseball hit him on the left side of his chest and he fell down, unresponsive. He'd suffered from commotio cordis, or cardiac arrest caused by trauma. If an AED had not been present that day, the boy would have succumbed to his injuries in minutes. Fortunately, an AED was used and he survived.