The importance of having competent athletic trainers at games and practices was highlighted by the life-saving work they performed at two separate events last Friday.
Jesuit College Prep student Christian Lerma collapsed during a soccer game against J.J. Pearce High School in Richardson (Tex.). A trainer from J.J. Pearce did CPR and used a defibrillator on Lerma, which saved his life.
Tara Grubbs, the athletic trainer for J.J. Pearce, told Fox 4 that it was one of the scariest moments of her life. Grubbs was able to call for an AED, which she used on Lerma. Lerma was then taken by ambulance to the hospital. Information on what caused Lerma’s collapse was not available but Fox 4 reports that he will have a pacemaker put in on Tuesday.
In White Plains (NY), another athletic trainer came to the rescue when an unnamed high school freshman basketball player went into cardiac arrest after falling awkwardly and hitting his head.
"He landed, and when he landed on his back, he ended up smacking his head into the ground,” athletic trainer Max Anderson told News12.
Anderson performed rescue breaths and CPR on the player. He said it took five compressions to get the athlete breathing again. "Best sound I ever heard was that gasp … I was so happy to get him back,” Anderson said.
The incidents shed light on the need for qualified athletic trainers at all athletics events involving student athletes. California, which does not currently require high schools to have athletic trainers at practices and games, is working to address the problem through an education outreach for principals and superintendents that will stress the importance of having certified athletic trainers on staff.