Embargoed until 8 a.m. CT / 9 a.m. ET Friday, January 10, 2019
DALLAS, Jan. 10, 2019 — In its commitment to be a global force for longer, healthier lives, the American Heart Association® unveiled its new lifesaving training kit at LaxCon 2020, January 10 – 12 in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The Association and US Lacrosse, the national governing body of men’s and women’s lacrosse and the home of the nation’s fastest-growing team sport, share a desire for safety and preparedness for all youth sports participants.
The new CPR & First Aid in Youth Sports™ Training Kit is designed specifically for youth sports coaches and parents to teach the lifesaving skill of CPR, how to use an AED, and how to help during sports-related emergencies. It is completely self-facilitated, with no additional training required for a facilitator.
Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in athletes during exercise and usually results from underlying cardiac conditions that are triggered by the demands of vigorous exercise.
“Sudden cardiac death during sports is a tragic event that has a significant impact not only on the victim, but also the broader community. Coaches and athletic trainers play a pivotal role in the prevention, management and aftermath of sudden cardiac arrest in young athletes,” said Raina Merchant, MS, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and chair of the Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee at the American Heart Association. “Preparing coaches and athletic trainers for an emergency is important for improving the likelihood of survival in the event of cardiac arrest. CPR is an important skill everyone should know and could double or triple a person’s chance of survival.”
From July 2017 to June 2018, there were a total of 85 catastrophic cardiac-related injuries or illnesses among high school and college organized sports participants due to or during sport-related activities. Current rates of sudden cardiac death appear to be at least 4 to 5 times higher than previously estimated, with men, African Americans, and specifically male basketball players being at greatest risk.
“Often in youth sports there are no athletic trainers, EMS or other first responders on-site, so if a cardiac arrest occurs during practice or a game, it is important that coaches, parents and athletes are prepared to act,” said Bruce Griffin, PhD, and the director of the Center for Sport Science at US Lacrosse.
CPR demonstrations of the CPR & First Aid and Youth Sports kit are available to the media at LaxCon upon request on Friday, January 10 and Saturday January 11 in Hall A.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
About US Lacrosse
US Lacrosse, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, is the national governing body of men’s and women’s lacrosse and the home of the nation’s fastest-growing team sport. US Lacrosse, which coordinates all activities of the U.S. National Teams Program, has nearly 450,000 members across the country. Through responsive and effective leadership, US Lacrosse provides programs and services to inspire participation while protecting the integrity of the sport. For more information, please visit www.uslacrosse.org or follow @uslacrosse on social media.
For Media Inquiries:
Monica Sales: 817-291-7289; email@example.com, American Heart Association
Patrick Severe: 443-519-9070; firstname.lastname@example.org, US Lacrosse
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
heart.org and strokeassociation.org
 Wasfy, Meagan M et al. “Sudden Cardiac Death in Athletes.” Methodist DeBakey cardiovascular journal vol. 12,2 (2016): 76-80. doi:10.14797/mdcj-12-2-76.
 Catastrophic Sports Injury Research: Thirty-Sixth Annual Report. National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, spring 2018, https://nccsir.unc.edu/files/2019/10/2018-Catastrophic-Report-AS-36th-AY2017-2018-FINAL.pdf.