Saving lives from cardiac arrest in young athletes

Adapted from BMJ Oct 10 2020

Ventricular fibrillation with cardiac arrest is the most common cause of death in young athletes.

Unless there has just been physical contact with another player it is best to assume that someone who collapses on a playing field should be considered to have had a cardiac arrest until proven otherwise.

Breathing can continue for half a minute after cardiac arrest and jerking of the limbs is common.

In this situation, begin chest compressions immediately and send for an automated defibrillator and ambulance crew.

My comments: Chest compressions are done to the Bee Gees “Staying Alive”. Don’t waste your time with rescue breaths as these don’t improve survival. Defibrillation is the key and survival reduces by 10% per minute post collapse.

From British Journal of Sports Medicine.