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Friday, February 24, 2012

New Guidelines for Prevention of Sudden Athlete Death

Posted by Prahallad Panda on 7:36 PM Comments

Sudden death mainly from cardiac and brain injury is seen among athletes. Proper health examination of the participants, though is a major step, it has not prevented all sudden deaths.

VIENNA, AUSTRIA - FEBRUARY 21: Attendees learn...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

New guidelines outlining the causes and prevention of sudden death among athletes were released this week by the National Athletic Trainer's Association (NATA) in the United States.
The new position statement includes many recommendations for preventing sudden death among athletes. Here are some of the highlights:
  • An athlete's chances of survival are much greater if there is an established, site-specific emergency plan.
  • Recognition of the type of problem is key to treatment. Sudden cardiac arrest should be suspected in any athlete who has collapsed and is unresponsive.
  • Public access to early defibrillation is critical. The time between when an athlete collapses and receives the first shock from an automated external defibrillator should be less than three to five minutes.
  • If a serious brain injury is suspected in an unresponsive athlete, medical staff must be prepared to transport the athlete to a health-care facility, while ensuring adequate ventilation and elevating the head to help decrease intracranial pressure.
  • In cases of suspected heatstroke, the athlete's core temperature must be determined soon after collapse to ensure accurate and immediate assessment.
  • Ensure athletes with asthma are properly educated about their condition and how to recognize good or bad breathing days. A structured warm-up program may decrease their risk of an asthma attack or their reliance on asthma medications.
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