Lawsuit Filed in Kentucky HS Soccer Player’s Death

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The family of a high school student who died during soccer conditioning is suing a northern Kentucky high school.

The family of Matthew Mangine Jr. who died on June 16, named in a wrongful death St. Henry District High School, the Diocese of Covington and St. Elizabeth, which employed the athletic trainer.  

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that St. Henry failed to properly plan for first practices of the season after an extended layoff, failed to comply with the school’s EAP, failed to timely locate an AED, failed to utilize an AED and failed to comply with applicable standards of care. An AED is also known as a defibrillator.

Local 12 reports that Kentucky law does not require an AED, but the Kentucky High School Athletic Association does require that one is accessible within three minutes of any practice or game.

“We want to get that AED on somebody as fast as possible,” Dr. Samantha Scarneo-Miller, an athletic emergency medical response expert at West Virginia University told Local 12. “The gold standard is to have an AED on every sideline.”

The lawsuit claims St. Henry’s has three AEDs on its property, including one at the concession facility between the soccer and baseball/softball fields, as well as one with the athletic trainer on duty. The suit contends that no AED was on site at the practice and no one brought an AED to use on Mangine.

“If you get an AED on somebody within three minutes of collapse, their chance of survival is 90%,” Dr. Scarneo Miller said.

The lawsuit states that Mangine collapsed at 7:12 p.m. and it was only after paramedics arrived that they applied an AED at 7:24.

“For every one minute that that's delayed, you reduce your chance for survival by 10 percent,” Dr. Riana Pryor, an athletic environmental impact expert at the University of Buffalo, told Local 12.

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