New program aims to train coaches for cardiac arrestby Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — School sports coaches and advisers across Minnesota would get more training in how to respond to students going into cardiac arrest, under a program being launched this weekend.
Officials at the Minnesota State High School League, which oversees high school sports, know of at least three teens who have died this school year after going into sudden cardiac arrest during a game or practice.
Associate Director Jody Redman says most schools have portable defibrillators, but there hasn't been enough training on those machines -- or in the need to act fast when someone goes down.
"I think people in many cases will stand and look at one another, and look at the victim -- who's lying on the floor -- and say 'what happened?'" said Redman. "They don't respond immediately, and in talking to some of the rescuers we've had involved wtih this program, they shift into auto-pilot almost immediately."
Redman says most schools have procedures for emergencies during school, but there are fewer resources available after school -- when practices and games are going on.
A $50,000 grant from the Medtronic Foundation will help the league offer training on CPR and other emergency procedures to coaches and other supervisors throughout the state.