Since 2007 US Lacrosse, the national governing body for men’s, women’s, and youth lacrosse, has partnered with Cardiac Science to provide grants to help lacrosse organizations purchase automated external defibrillators (AEDs). Grants totaling $16,000 were presented to 33 organizations in 21 states in 2014.
“Having an AED on hand protects not just the players but coaches and spectators,” said Wendell Lee, director of programs for US Lacrosse. “We think it’s the right thing for all youth organizations, and we want to make it affordable.”
A study published in Pediatrics in 2009 found that while the rate of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) for lacrosse was similar to other youth sports, the rate of a heart problem called commotio cordis was relatively high (similar to the rate for youth hockey). Commotio cordis is an often fatal heart-rhythm abnormality triggered by a blow to the chest.
In 2008, two high school lacrosse players, Alex Beuris and James Hendrick, were struck during games, suffered commotio cordis, and were revived using AEDs. Lacrosse Magazine wrote that the two saves “drew needed attention to risk management at athletic events, specifically having an AED available at game and practice sites.”
US Lacrosse has been at the forefront of work to prevent commotio cordis and SCA and to increase the chances of survival for victims when sudden cardiac arrest occurs. Sports equipment for lacrosse (including chest protectors and official lacrosse balls) have been redesigned to decrease chances of commotio cordis resulting from a blow to the chest, Lee said.
At the same time, US Lacrosse has sought to heighten awareness of SCA and make AEDs available. Through an exclusive partnership with Cardiac Science, US Lacrosse members are extended discounted special pricing and support from the Cardiac Science AED specialists in their area to make purchasing an AED for their teams safety easy.
In addition to everyday partnership benefits, US Lacrosse members can also apply for an additional subsidy through US Lacrosse. The organization’s annual AED grant program provides recipient organizations with a highly discounted rate for a Powerheart® AED G3 Plus Automatic Unit with 7-year warranty. Since 2010, US Lacrosse has provided over $62,000 in AED grants to lacrosse teams, leagues, and organizations nationwide.
For more information on how to apply for a US Lacrosse Grant or to see this years 2014 recipients, please visit www.uslacrosse.org/resources/programs-grants/aed-grant-program.aspx. For more information on the US Lacrosse and Cardiac Science partnership and discounted pricing, please visit www.cardiacscience.com/uslacrosse.