Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Athletes

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Last March, an undefeated basketball squad faced a tragic loss, and unfortunately it was not the game. An undefeated season was on the line for the Fennvile Blackhawks, and the whole town was in attendance. The game went into overtime and Wes Leonard was ready for it. Seconds left in overtime, the score was tied again. It was the last play of the game, and Wes Leonard drove to the basket for a lay up, putting them up by two. Time expired and fans rushed the court looking for the hero that made that game winning basket. Seconds later that hero collapsed to the ground. Wes Leonard, a 16 year old healthy boy, died minutes after his dream, a game winning shot, of a cardiac arrest. ( Moisse Sec. 1 Par. 1-3)

What happens when an athlete that is in the best of physical health suffers a sudden cardiac death? The sudden death leaves the community, team, and family shocked and devastated and looking for answers.Whether they are throwing a pitch, shooting the game winning shot, running to the finish line, or making the tackle, an athlete in the United States suffers a sudden cardiac arrest every three days. ( Subasic 18 ) The deaths are rising in sudden cardiac deaths, but not all athletes die each time a cardiac arrest takes place. Each time an athlete suffers a sudden cardiac arrest they don’t all die, but the deaths are rising. Sports related cardiac deaths are very sudden and most scientists do not know why they occur, but researchers are conducting many studies to try to determine the exact cause. Therefore there have been many studies done trying

to determine why athletes suffer sudden cardiac arrest, and although there have been a fair amount of conclusions, none have been clear and strong enough to determine why exactly they occ...

... middle of paper ... of sudden cardiac deaths to athletes there. Screening those athletes undergo is very expensive and I do not think it is the way for the United States to handle the sudden increase of sudden cardiac arrests leading to death. One thing that I think that the United States can look into is having a defibrillator on site of any athletic activity. A defibrillator can be used when someone undergoes a sudden cardiac arrest. The defibrillator

will deliver an electric shock to the heart to try to get it to stop the ventricular fibrillation which is when your heart rate increases and does not produce enough blood to the brian or other organs. A defibrillator was used in the case of Wes Leonard, but unfortunately it was not enough. As of right now I do not believe that there is a clear answer that would prevent the sudden cardiac arrests that athletes are suffering.

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