Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Youth Sports: Raising Awareness of Sports Injuries (Part 2)

My son has a heart condition. My son is a catcher. So when I read about the tragic dealth of a 16 year old all star catcher named Tommy Adams it really hit home. Tommy Adams was hit in his chest by a baseball. He went into cardiac arrest and died.  Surprisingly, he was wearing his protective catching equipment at the time of the incident. Commotio cordis was the cause. Catch the CBS Story about Tommy Adams' Commotio Cordis here.
Commotio cordis occurs when the heart beat is disrupted by a sudden blow to the chest directly over the heart at a critical time during the heart beat cycle. Believe it or not, studies show that a baseball traveling as slow as 35 miles per hour can cause this. Commotio cordis occurs mostly in boys with an average age of 15 during sports. Baseball is the most common sport associated with this medical condition. The fatality rate is about 65%. 
There is an organization, the Youth Sports Safety Alliance, that is trying to prevent tragic deaths and injuries in sports. They held a summit in Washington DC this past week. One of the main topics discussed was sudden cardiac arrest. They are calling for more highly trained trainers at athletic events including practices. They are also advocating that AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) are available at all practices and games. Commotio Cordis can sometimes be reversed by defibrillation.

This video by Dr. Jared C. LaCorte M.D., Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship: Children's Hospital of New York-Columbia Presbyterian explains Commotio Cordis. He also advocates for AEDs at sporing events.

The Main Point

In this blog, I have advocated for the use protective equipement including baseball infielder's / pitcher's helmets and McDavid heart protection shirts. I will continue to use this forum to raise awareness of sports injuries and prevention. 


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