Update on sideline and event preparation for management of sudden cardiac arrest in athletes

Curr Sports Med Rep. 2007 Jun;6(3):170-6.


Sudden death in athletes occurs approximately once every 3 days in the United States. Each school or venue should have an emergency action plan that is coordinated with local emergency medical services (EMS). Access to early defibrillation to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is critical. If EMS response times are greater than 3 to 5 minutes from collapse to first shock, an on-site automated external defibrillator (AED) should be available. Delays in recognition of SCA in athletes occur commonly. Any collapsed and unresponsive athlete should be considered to be in cardiac arrest and an AED should be applied for rhythm analysis as soon as possible. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation should be provided while waiting for an AED and interruptions in chest compressions should be minimized. Rehearsal of the emergency action plan with potential first responders is essential to ensuring an efficient response to SCA in athletics.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
  • Death, Sudden / etiology
  • Defibrillators
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Emergency Treatment
  • Heart Arrest / diagnosis
  • Heart Arrest / epidemiology
  • Heart Arrest / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Liability, Legal
  • Mass Screening
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prevalence
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Sports Medicine
  • Sports*