Play Sport, PLAY HEART SAFE : study provides further evidence as to the importance of creating a heart safe sporting & community environment at all levels
Posted: Mon, 02 Sep 2019
Paris, France – 2 Sept 2019: Fewer sports-related sudden cardiac arrest victims die nowadays, a trend linked with increased bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), reports a study presented today at ESC Congress 2019 together with the World Congress of Cardiology. (1) The late breaking study also found that the incidence of sudden cardiac arrest during sports has not changed over the last decade.
Sudden cardiac arrest is lethal within minutes if left untreated and rapid initiation of CPR improves survival. Pre-participation screening of athletes aims to identify those at high risk and potentially exclude them from sports, with the ultimate goal of reducing the incidence of sudden cardiac arrest. In most cases, decisions on who to screen are made by international sporting bodies rather than national healthcare systems. (2)
"In our study, bystander CPR was associated with a nearly eight times greater likelihood of sudden cardiac arrest victims surviving to hospital discharge," said principal investigator Professor Xavier Jouven of the Paris-Sudden Death Expertise Centre. "Failure to reduce the incidence of sports-related sudden cardiac arrest is disappointing and questions the efficacy of screening programmes."
Prof Jouven said: "We observed an important decrease in deaths due to sudden cardiac arrest during sports over a 12-year period which was related to more frequent CPR. The static incidence is probably caused by difficulties in early identification of individuals at high risk for sudden cardiac arrest during sports."
"To further improve survival from cardiac arrest, CPR should be taught to the general public and particularly to sports medicine practitioners," said Prof Jouven. "An AED should be available in all sports venues. Preventing sudden cardiac arrest remains the ideal goal – in the future, smartwatches and internet-connected T-shirts may alert us to warning signs occurring minutes or hours before, allowing early resuscitation and prevention."
European Society of Cardiology - Press news:
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