High School Athletics

Health and Safety Policy Ranking for High School Athletics

Samantha Scarneo, MS, ATC

Director of Sport Safety

On Tuesday, August 8th, the Korey Stringer Institute held a press conference for the release of the Health and Safety Policy Ranking for High School Athletics. The goal of this project was to review publically available information from high school associations and state legislation to determine how states are mandating safety standards for their athletes. A positive finding from this study is every state, including the District of Columbia, has some type of health and safety policy requirement for their high schools to follow. However, not a single state meets all of the minimum best practice requirements for the areas focused on in this project; which happen to be the top causes of sudden death in sport, accounting for over 90% of sport-related deaths.

 

North Carolina is leading the way scoring a 79%, followed by Kentucky (71.13%) and Massachusetts (67.4%). KSI was honored to have Mr. Bob Gfeller, Mr. David Csillan, and Dr. Morgan Anderson as well as Dr. Douglas Casa and Dr. William Adams, speak at the press conference. Dr. Adams began the press conference stating the methods used for this project, which included accessing publically available information from state high school associations and legislation. Dr. Casa followed up with information pertaining to the results of the study. Csillan, athletic trainer from New Jersey, provided comments about his continued advocacy for New Jersey to implement best practice standards statewide. Mr. Gfeller spoke on the importance of implementing policies to ensure that no parents need to go through the tragic loss of a child. Dr. Morgan Anderson echoed these comments by stating “We have tragic examples from the past that motivates us daily to make a change.”

The Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine will publish the study with these findings in the September issue. The accepted version of the PDF can be found here.

Change is difficult. There may be states who are not thrilled with these published findings, too. However, these data are the reality of current health and safety policies in high school athletics. This report is dedicated to the parents who have lost, or those parents who have their sons and daughters participating in sport, and it can be the conduit in making sure that your children’s safety are accounted for by the governing organizations. I urge you all to contact your state high school association leaders and legislators to find out if they are 1) aware of where they stand in the ranking and 2) their plans forward for improvement.

Preventing Sudden Death in Sport– CoxHealth Sports Safety Conference

Brad Endres, ATC, CSCS

Assistant Director of Sports Safety Policies

The prevention of sudden death in sports begins well before a catastrophic injury occurs.

It may be true that heroes are made in how they respond when they are needed most. Many stories throughout the country give testament to the life-saving nature of an appropriate and timely response to medical emergencies in sport. While these stories are indeed uplifting, they are often the result of a great amount of effort dedicated to being prepared in the event of an emergency. During their 2017 Sports Medicine Conference, the Sports Medicine team at CoxHealth exemplified the old adage that “practice makes perfect”, and it was truly a sight to behold. This team, led by Dr. Shannon Woods, was a shining example of how to collaborate with multiple health care providers in order to create, implement, and practice “best-practice” policies and procedures intended to promote athlete safety. KSI was invited to travel to Springfield, MO to take part in the Conference, and it was inspiring to witness the rubber meet the road in regards to the practical application of research.

Throughout the two days of the conference, KSI staff led evidence-based educational sessions on exertional heat illnesses. KSI Vice-President of Communication and Education Dr. Yuri Hosokawa started off the conference on Friday morning with an evidence-based presentation about the prevention, recognition, and treatment of exertional heat illnesses. After the presentation, she led the participants through a practical lab session on the “best-practices” of responding to an individual suffering from exertional heat stroke (EHS).  The participants attending the Friday session of the conference included athletic trainers, coaches, sports medicine physicians, EMS personnel, and school administrators from local area high schools, given that these practical skills would be vital for treating one of their athletes in the event they developed EHS while participating in sports. On Friday afternoon, CoxHealth staff led mock emergency scenarios where participants  were able to gain hands-on practice of what they had learned in the morning. The participants took the scenarios seriously, which led to great discussions during the scenario debriefings. Additionally, the local Springfield news station recorded a news segment about the Conference in order to spread the word about emergency preparedness and athlete safety.

On the final day of the conference, the participants included physical therapists, physicians from other specialties, parents of young athletes, and other interested members of the community. Yuri and I geared our presentations to a slightly different audience, but the message was largely the same: evidence-based policies and procedures can indeed save lives.

Yuri and I were thankful to be invited to the 2017 CoxHealth Sports Medicine Conference, and proud to represent KSI at such an impressive collaborative event. Being in compliance with “best practice” emergency response policies is not always the easiest thing to do, but networks like CoxHealth Sports Medicine are proving that it can be done. Because of their efforts, the athletes they serve will undoubtedly be safe and well cared for.

2017 Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport

William M. Adams, PhD, LAT, ATC Vice President of Sport Safety

March 28-29, 2017 Kansas City, MO

The 3rd annual Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport meeting was held last week in Kansas City, MO that brought over 100 individuals representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia together to continue the task of enhancing the health and safety policies for high school athletics. This meeting, hosted by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and supported by the Korey Stringer Institute and Gatorade, began out of an idea spawned by Drs. Douglas Casa, PhD, ATC, FACSM, FNATA, FNAK and Jonathan Drezner, MD to make high school sports safer for the participating athletes.

This years’ meeting was constructed so that the attendees decided on the topics to be discussed. Prior to the meeting, all of the attendees were sent a survey that asked them which topics they would either want to learn more about or have in depth discussions about. From the survey, 16 breakout sessions were formed where the attendees who wanted to learn more about one particular topic were able to come together in small groups to have further discussions.

 

Overall, these breakout sessions were immensely successful as they stimulated many fruitful discussions over the successes, barriers, and other strategies to help develop and implement health and safety policies across the US. It was great to see states that have been successful in implementing change in a certain area (i.e. heat acclimatization) providing feedback and suggestions to states that have not been successful in implementing such policies. These discussions provided great peer-to-peer feedback, which may have been better received for some individuals.

 

Having attended all of Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport meetings over the past three years, it has been amazing to see the efforts taken by leaders within state high school athletics associations and sports medicine advisory committees following the meeting to develop and implement health and safety policies. States like Vermont, Illinois, South Carolina, Utah, New Jersey and many others have taken advantage of these meetings to implement best-practice policies in their state with many crediting the Collaborative Solutions meeting as the event that was the impetus for change.

 

While many states have made great strides in improving the health and safety of their student athletes, others have remained resistant to change and often citing “We haven’t had anything happen in our state, so there is no reason to change.” We must remember that implementing evidence-based minimum best practice policies such as emergency action plans, heat acclimatization, access to AEDs, environmental-based activity modification guidelines and the management of sport related concussion, cost little to no money to implement and there should be no reason not to take the proactive steps to keeping our young student athletes safe.

 

Keeping the forward progress mindset and further cultivating relationships between sports medicine advisory committees, high school athletics associations and coaches with the mindset of having the most up-to-date evidence-based policies in place is needed to ensure that our young athletes are protected while playing the sports that they love.

Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Florida High School Sports

William Adams, PhD, LAT, ATC

 

On March 9-10, 2017, Drs. Douglas Casa, PhD, ATC, FACSM, FNATA, FNAK and William Adams, PhD, ATC along with KSI staff member Courteney Benjamin, MS, CSCS traveled to the University of Florida to attend their Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Florida High School Sports meeting. Organized by the University of Florida and the Florida Association of Sports Medicine, the aim of the meeting was to begin the steps of health and safety policies for the Florida’s high school student-athletes.

 

The meeting was attended by representatives from various regions within the state of Florida and included sports medicine physicians, athletic trainers, high school administrators, coaches and the Florida High School Athletics Association. Dr. Casa spoke on the importance of implementing evidence-based best practice policies focused on the leading causes of death in sport and provided numerous case examples as to how these policies have been effective at reducing the number of sport-related deaths. Dr. Adams followed by discussing the current standing of health and safety policies mandated for high school athletics in Florida.

 

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Following these initial talks, the rest of the meeting consisted of various break out sessions specifically designed to stimulate discussion amongst the group and discuss strategies for how to implement changes to current policies related to emergency action plans, environmental monitoring and activity modification guidelines, concussion, AEDs and coaching education. Discussing the current barriers for implementing the aforementioned policies and strategies to overcome these barriers with the attendees, who many are the state leaders in their respective professions, allowed everyone in the room to participate to assist in developing a plan going forward to present to the Florida High School Athletics Association to further protect their student-athletes.

 

Overall, this meeting was a tremendous success and we are truly thankful for the University of Florida and FASmed for organizing this meeting and for the University of Florida for hosting the meeting at their facilities.  Having a group of highly motivated individuals from across the state of Florida come together to discuss how they can improve high school student-athlete health and safety is a model example of ways other states can have similar successes. The coordinated efforts of sports medicine professionals, high school and state high school athletics association administrators and coaches is instrumental for preventing sudden death in our young athletes who have a full life to live in front of them.

 

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NFL AT Pilot Grant Program

By Yuri Hosokawa, MAT, ATC, Director of Communication, Director of Education

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Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut is proud to announce our role in the NFL Athletic Trainer Grant Pilot Program, which is open for applications from October 19, 2016 through December 16, 2016.

 

As part of the Play Smart. Play Safe. campaign the NFL pledged on September 14, 2016, the NFL is heading up a pilot grant program in four states – Arizona, Illinois, Oklahoma and Oregon.  Up to 150 public high schools across the four pilot states will be awarded a $35,000 grant over the course of a 3-year period to assist with securing athletic trainer (AT) services.

 

School administrators, or their designee, may apply if their school meets the following criteria:

  • A public high school with an interscholastic football program in Arizona, Illinois, Oklahoma or Oregon.
  • Minimal or no current athletic training program. Minimal is defined as care provided by an athletic trainer only for football games or competitions played at home.

 

As NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated in his letter, “… we know that having an athletic trainer on the sidelines at a high school game can be pivotal for how health and safety issues are handled. But many of our nation’s schools lack the resources to pay for one. Accordingly, we plan to expand the size of our athletic trainer program, funding additional athletic trainers for high schools that need them. Our long-term goal is to raise awareness about the important role athletic trainers can play in high school athletics.”

 

KSI will lead the administration of the NFL Athletic Trainer Pilot Grant Program as well as conduct research on the program’s impact, specifically the impact of athletic trainers on student athlete health outcomes. We hope that by bringing our expertise to this program, we can assist not only the schools who may hire ATs for the first time in their school history, but also to serve as the support system for the ATs who are accepting jobs in these schools in order to develop successful and sustainable athletic training programs across the nation.

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To find out more about the pilot grant program, visit: www.athletictrainergrant.com.

#AT4ALL

The ATLAS Project: The Start of Something Big

By Robert Huggins, PhD, ATC, VP of Research, VP of Athlete Health and Safety

ATLAS UPDATE

There are countless new and innovative ideas that we have at KSI every day, but every once in a while there is that truly life changing idea. Even as daunting as that idea may seem, there is something deep within your gut, I mean really deep down, that you know can make and impact and is worth doing. The ATLAS Project was one of those ideas for us here at KSI and in true KSI fashion this idea would not be possible without the collaboration of the NATA Secondary School Committee and the members of the NATA.

 

The Athletic Training Locations And Services Project was developed by KSI from the “Athletic Training Services in Public Secondary Schools: A Benchmark Study” with the main goals to:

 

  • Create a real-time database of athletic training services in secondary schools
  • Create a directory for each state’s athletic training association and high school athletics association
  • Assist states in moving toward full-time athletic training services
  • Provide useful data to each state’s athletic training association and high school athletic association
  • Identify common factors associated with increased athletic training services across the country
  • Provide data to assist with legislative efforts to improve healthcare for high school athletes

Since its official launch in January, over 4,500 surveys have been taken by Secondary School Athletic Trainers all across the country. The Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association has the largest percentage of high school athletic trainers who have taken the ATLAS Survey closely followed by Mid-America Mid-Atlantic and Southwest Athletic Training Associations as depicted below. In terms of raw number of surveys California leads with 220 surveys taken and Pennsylvania is in close second with 203 surveys. However, if we look at percentage of surveys taken, District of Columbia, New Mexico, and Utah are in the lead with 80%, 71%, and 55% respectively.

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Currently KSI uses Zeemapsä by Zeesource to map each states’ Athletic Training services and we are proud to say that Vermont and Maine were the first two states to be 100% mapped. Delaware, District of Columbia, Rhode Island and Wyoming are all within 40 schools of being 100% mapped and additional efforts in those states by KSI and their athletic training associations are being made as we speak.
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Recently Robert Huggins PhD, LAT, ATC and Larry Cooper, NATA Secondary School Committee Chair, presented the ATLAS project data at the Collaborative Solutions For Safety In Sport Meeting held at the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis and will also be discussing this with Athletic Trainers at the NATA Symposium next week in Baltimore where they hope the project will continue to gain more momentum so be sure to stop by booth #2057 at the NATA Expo to map your high school!

2nd Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport

By Alicia Pike, Assistant Director of Youth Sport Safety 

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National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) President, Scott Sailor, kicked off the 2nd Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport (CSSS) Meeting with a powerful statement. “Nearly all deaths and serious injuries can be avoided when proper steps are taken.” A continuation of last year’s inaugural meeting in New York City, the NATA and American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM), with assistance from the Korey Stringer Institute, brought together each state’s High School Athletic Association Executive Director and Sports Medicine Advisory Committee Chair for the second year in a row to discuss proactive policy changes and states’ progress on various health and safety initiatives at the secondary school level.

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On March 22, 2016, Dr. Brian Hainline, Chief Medical Officer of the NCAA, opened the meeting with the keynote address, speaking on the challenges of change. A session followed titled, “Where are we now?” facilitated by Douglas Casa, Robert Huggins, Larry Cooper and Thomas Dompier. This session focused on progress made in policy change, athletic training coverage across the nation, proper injury prevention strategies specific to Heads-Up Football, and an overview of data from the Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention. The meeting portion of day one concluded with small group breakout sessions, quite valuable for those in attendance, as they spoke candidly with one another about successes and barriers pertaining to sport safety policy implementation.

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Day two began with a keynote address from Martha Lopez-Anderson, Chair of the Board of Directors for Parent Heart Watch. Turning tragedy into triumph, Martha shared her heartbreaking personal story that led to her involvement in this organization, and advocated for the implementation of prevention strategies for sudden cardiac arrest in the youth population, including placing AED’s in all locations, cardiac screening, and getting appropriate personnel trained in CPR/AED use. Following her keynote, a session dedicated to mental health issues in student-athletes ensued. Although not directly in the spotlight, mental health is a true problem. Dr. Brian Hainline stressed the importance of having an emergency action plan in place for mental health issues, similar to the ones implemented to manage various incidents such as cervical spine or head injuries. Alongside Dr. Hainline, John Reynolds, Dr. Cindy Chang, and Dr. Francis O’Connor also facilitated this session. From sharing success stories on the promotion of mental wellness in a school district, to discussions on the prevalence and consequences of disordered eating and performance-enhancing drug use, attendees were informed of proper strategies to take in limiting and managing mental health issues in student-athletes.

Taking a different approach this year, attendees were allowed to choose from three different breakout sessions, providing opportunities to promote discussion in small groups about personal experiences, struggles, and successes with cardiac and heat policy implementation, and employing athletic trainers in secondary schools. This created an environment of close collaboration, with states getting feedback for themselves while simultaneously helping each other. NATA President, Scott Sailor, said it best. “With your [attendees] collaborative support we will make a difference. We will save lives, reduce injuries, and create a playing environment that ensures health and safety first.” It was another incredibly successful CSSS Meeting, and we anticipate the next to result in even greater strides towards improving sport safety in the secondary school setting.

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Athletic Trainers in the Secondary School Setting

By Rachel VanScoy, Assistant Director of Sports Safety Policies

#AT4ALL Value Model

Athletic Trainers are health care professionals who work under the direction of a licensed physician and who specialize in the prevention, recognition, emergency care, treatment, and rehabilitation of sports related injuries. A recent study reported that only 37% of high schools in the United States provide full-time athletic training services.1 Seventy of the public secondary schools acknowledge the importance of athletic training services and provide some level of medical coverage.1 With the increasing number of sports participation and sports related injuries in the high school setting, it is essential that appropriate medical coverage is available. It is important to understand what services and coverage athletic trainers’ provide.

Athletic trainers do not just provide “coverage” during sporting events but provide quality health care to active individuals on and off the field. During emergencies, athletic trainers are onsite to provide immediate care to potentially life-threatening conditions and are trained to provide prompt treatment to help prevent sudden death (i.e., sudden cardiac arrest, exertional heat stroke). Furthermore, athletic trainers provide a link of communication between physicians, coaches, parents, and school nurses. Care of an athlete not only includes physical care but also psychosocial care. A safe environment is created which can result in an athlete confiding in the athletic trainer. Athlete trainers are trained to recognize potential problems (i.e., eating disorders) and can refer to the appropriate medical or professional services.

Additionally, athletic trainers work towards the prevention of injuries and sudden death. Before participation, athletes are screened using medical questionaries’ and preparticipation physical examinations. Athletic trainers are trained to identify potential risk factors and can make appropriate referrals for further screening. The preparticipation screening also allows athletic trainers to identify at risk individuals (i.e., Sickle cell trait, asthma, diabetes). Risk mitigation can be accomplished though educating parents, coaches, athletes, and administrators, as well as, through injury prevention programs. Off the field athletic trainers develop, practice and implement Emergency Action Plans (EAPS) and Policy, and Procedure manuals. A few examples of the policies that athletic trainers develop are heat acclimatization, concussion, lightning, hydration, and environmental (i.e., cold and hot weather) policies. Athletic trainers are responsible for ensuring policies are implemented and followed.

Athletic trainers provide on and off field services to continually maintain health and safety in sports. Described above are just a few of the many services athletic trainers provide at the high school level. For more information, visit the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) webpage for the Secondary School Setting.

 

References

  1. Pryor RR, Casa DJ, Vandermark LW, et al. Athletic Training Services in Public Secondary Schools: A Benchmark Study. Journal of Athletic Training. 2015;50(2):156-162. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-50.2.03.

 

Texas House Advances Bill Mandating EKGs for High School Athletes (Education Week)

The Texas House of Representatives approved a bill last week that would require high school athletes to undergo an electrocardiogram, or an EKG, before participating on a sports team.

The bill, which passed the House on an 82-62 vote on April 14, would require all high school student-athletes at University Interscholastic League schools to have an EKG before the student’s first year of participation in sports, and again before his or her third year. If a parent or guardian submits a written request to waive the requirement, however, a student-athlete would not be required to undergo the EKG.

According to a 2011 study published in the journal Circulation, sudden cardiac arrest was the leading cause of death during exercise in NCAA student-athletes, and similar data has held true for younger athletes, too. State Rep. Sylvester Turner, one of the bill’s joint authors, believes mandating EKGs could help prevent some instances of sudden cardiac arrest by uncovering undiagnosed conditions.

“These deaths are preventable and we have the resources to inform Texas parents if their child is at risk,” said Turner in a statement. “The legislation does not require parents to take any medical action in response to an ECG. Regardless of the information the ECG provides, any medical decisions regarding the student athlete remain at the parent’s discretion.”

The legislation was inspired in part by Scott Stephens, who lost his son Cody to sudden cardiac arrest in May 2012. Since that time, Stephens started the Cody Stephens Go Big or Go Home Memorial Foundation, which helped screen over 15,000 athletes last year, according to The Dallas Morning News. Fifteen of those youth-athletes wound up needing heart surgery, and two were told to quit contact sports, the paper reported.

“We found 17 kids out of 15,000,” Stephens told the paper. “If there’s a million kids in the state of Texas getting a physical, that tells me—just by the math—that there’s 1,000 kids out there that are possible candidates for sudden cardiac arrest.”

If signed into law, the Texas bill would go into effect beginning with the 2016-17 school year. It has since been sent to the Senate for further discussion.

Sudden cardiac arrest has been a hot topic in youth-athlete safety for years. In 2011, a 16-year-old Michigan high school basketball player named Wes Leonard collapsed on the court after hitting a buzzer-beating shot due to an enlarged heart. After being rushed to the hospital and undergoing CPR, he was pronounced dead due to sudden cardiac arrest. His friends and family later createdThe Wes Leonard Heart Team to advocate for student-athlete-safety legislation, including a requirement that all public and private schools have enough automatic electronic defibrillators on site.

That same year, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association released a statement urging states to pass pending youth-athlete-safety legislation, despite any potential budgetary concerns. At its third annual Youth Sports Safety Summit in December 2011, association members discussed ways to prevent sudden death in youth sports.

“We believe that 90 to 95 percent of the deaths that happen in youth sports are preventable,” said Dr. Douglas Casa, the chief operating officer of the Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut, during that year’s summit.

In November 2011, a survey presented at the American Heart Association’s scientific sessions revealed that fewer than 6 percent of doctors in the state followed national sudden-cardiac-death screening guidelines to their fullest extent when examining high school athletes. Not a single athletic director said that his or her school required doctors to comply with all state guidelines at the time, either.

In the spring of 2012, meanwhile, then-Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett signed a law designed to protect student-athletes from heart failure. It required schools to issue an information sheet to parents of student-athletes about the warning signs and symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest, which they needed to sign and return to the school before their children were allowed to participate in athletics.

This past March, Dr. Brian Hainline, the NCAA’s first chief medical officer, divulged to The Wall Street Journal his plan to recommend “that athletes at higher risk of cardiac death, including male basketball players, be required to undergo an EKG test to search for cardiac defects,” according to the paper. However, “some 100 university team physicians” signed a petition “calling on him to change his mind,” the WSJ reported one month later, which he wound up doing.

“I have become convinced that the infrastructure and knowledge base will not support this effort at present,” Hainline announced at a conference in mid-April, per the paper.

The issue clearly remains contentious among medical experts, and the Texas House had its fair share of members opposed to the bill, too. We’ll see over the coming weeks whether Texas state senators express the same concerns.

 

Source: Education Week

Bishop Lynch High School Athletic Trainer Talks about AEDs

Written by Mike Hopper, ATC, Head Athletic Trainer at Bishop Lynch High School, Dallas, TX

AED Mike Hopper

Bishop Lynch High School is a co-educational Catholic high school that is a member of the Diocese of Dallas and a member of the Texas Association of Parochial and Private Schools (TAPPS). Bishop Lynch is a “Safe Sports School” as recognized by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. The availability of AEDs on our campus is just one example of Bishop Lynch providing excellence in Athletic Healthcare.

Recently, the question was asked on Twitter by the Korey Stringer Institute “Are you prepared for sudden cardiac arrest? Where is the closest AED from where you are right now?” I took a quick picture on my phone of the unit that is permanently posted on the wall just inside of my Athletic Training Room. That is only one unit that currently sits within those 4 walls. Regularly, there are 3 units that are maintained within that facility, however currently we have 5 units there. Two of these units will be deployed elsewhere on campus in the coming months. KSI was understandably amazed and curious how we had 5 AEDs on our campus. But, we actually have 11 of these units posted throughout our 22-acre campus. So, then the question was: How did Bishop Lynch manage to have that many units on our campus and how can other schools learn from us?

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I don’t know the full story, but I will say that we are dedicated to having these units within reach and we are dedicated to having a plan to attack sudden cardiac arrest with immediate response and treatment. When I came to BL in August 2014, we had 7 units on campus. Six of these were posted within athletic facilities. The seventh unit has been moved more than once this school year. BL is in midst of major renovations and that unit has floated multiple times before finding its current place. That location has become its new permanent home as this winter we acquired additional units for elsewhere in the building.

There are currently 9 AEDs deployed on our campus. We have units in our end-zone weight room building that serves the weight room and wrestling room in that building plus the baseball field a short distance away. Conceivably this unit also covers the track and football stadium. The fieldhouse in the corner of the same endzone hosts a unit on the wall providing coverage for the football stadium and track. Outside of the “competition gym” a unit is posted in plain sight that provides coverage for the main gym, the dance studio across the hall, and the weight room upstairs in that same building. Upstairs and a short distance away we have a brand new unit that was recently installed near the business office and two classrooms. Our “Legacy Gym” sits just feet away from the new “competition gym” and hosts a unit of its own posted on the wall outside our satellite Athletic Training Room. As we begin to enter the academic end of campus, we have a unit (previously mentioned) that sits outside of the theater. This is also located close to the main office and the cafeteria. Another brand new unit was deployed recently and is now posted on the wall right outside of the nurse’s office. This gives us 7 units posted in permanent locations.

Two more units are located inside of the Fieldhouse Athletic Training Room and these units are portable. This allows the Athletic Training Staff to transport the AEDs to the sideline or dugout of games. Our softball team currently plays off-campus and we are able to take a unit to their games without jeopardizing the safety (and liability) of our campusWe also take an AED with us whenever we travel with our football teams. With approximately 150 people that make up our travel party for a varsity football game, we believe that carrying this unit is necessary at all times.

I currently have two more units sitting in my office that are brand new and still inside of their boxes along with their cabinets. These units are awaiting the completion of new construction. One unit will be installed in the coming weeks as we prepare to open up a new building with 12 classrooms and the last unit will be installed before the 2015-2016 school year when that phase of renovations is completed.

I know that in our athletic facilities we are less than a minute from an AED at all times. There is not a single place that somebody can’t have an AED in hand instantly. The furthest point from an athletic standpoint from an AED is centerfield on the baseball field to the Haggar Building AED in the endzone. That is approximately 500 feet away. But on a game-day, there is a unit in the home dugout cutting that distance down by about 100-150 feet. Academically, we are currently a little bit further away than that in a couple of locations, however that will change in a couple of weeks. Our new unit will cut down that distance significantly. My biggest concern is in our parking lots, which are at the far ends of our campus. Just the other day I brought up this concern to our security staff and we will be addressing this.

Great, so you have 11 AEDs on campus? But do you have staff to use them?

This is a great question. While the AEDs are simple enough to be used by just about anybodyit is still critical that trained personnel respond to a sudden cardiac event. Accordingly, and as required by TAPPS, our entire coaching staff is required to maintain current CPR/AED certification. Additionally, we have a school nurse on campus each day along with one full-time Certified Athletic Trainer and one part-time Certified Athletic Trainer. Our security staff also is required to maintain CPR/AED certification. So in short, we have staff onsite at all times trained to respond to a cardiac event.

How do you maintain 11 AEDs? Who is in charge of that and who pays for that?

This is another great question. And one that we recently figured out. We have three units that are 4 years old, four units that are 3 years old and four units that are brand new. In the past, the replacement pads were simply purchased out of an account and nobody really thought about it too much. But as you can imagine, with 11 units, this is a costly venture. And so the school nurse and I have asked for a specific answer moving forward. We did not want this to be a year-by-year decision. Basically, each year we will spend the equivalent to what it would cost to purchase a new unit every yearBut it’s a small price to pay and our school administration agrees with thisFor this reason, the nurse’s budget will grow each year to accommodate this specific expense. We share joint responsibility for proposing those needs each year and I have taken on the responsibility of maintaining the units. This includes walking past them throughout the week along with testing them once a month. I have made up a spreadsheet with our entire inventory that includes expiration dates and also have a checklist in each case that I check off each month.

11 AEDs, a full staff of trained personnel, emergency action plans for athletics and campus-wide, combined with EMS being located only minutes away and the major trauma center less than 15 minutes away, we believe that Bishop Lynch is well-prepared for a sudden cardiac event on our campus. While we hope to “waste” a lot of money over time, we believe it’s a small price to pay should somebody on our campus collapse.

Every Athlete Deserves an Athletic Trainer. Every Friar Athlete Has One.