The majority of the attention on athlete safety has focused on head injuries lately, but there is another silent killer on the rise. The rate of young people dying from cardiac arrest has increased by 10 percent in the last 10 years, from 6,328 in 2005 to 7,000 in 2015. Sadly, 54 percent of these cardiovascular deaths occur in high school students. There are currently 16 states that require portable defibrillators to be present on school grounds, but more than 30 states don't require the life saving devices. So why are states not making AEDs mandatory at schools and sports fields?
There is a 64 percent survival rate of student-athletes with sudden cardiac arrest when AED is administered.Despite this fact, school districts across the country still have not implemented specific funding for AEDs. For example, Massachusetts doesn't have a requirement for AEDs to be on campus, and there are about 300 public schools in the state without AEDs available. There are a number of AED manufacturers that make units priced at just under $1,500, a small price to ensure the safety of our future generations. Just because a school hasn’t had a fire doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a fire extinguisher, and the same goes for an AED.
To learn more about the risks for young athletes and what is being done to ensure their safety, checkout the infographic created by Ohio University below.