This project is to purchase an AED for Youth Football and train the parents and coaches in CPR and how to operate the AED to save lives.
I am working on my Boy Scout Eagle project which is to buy an AED for the Endicott Youth Football League and arrange for AED/CPR training for all of the coaches and any parents that are interested. This would make sure that there would always be someone trained available during games and practices. Over the last six months, I have learned first hand how important it is to have an AED available if needed.
Several months ago, our community faced the death of a young lacrosse player, Johnny Mack, because the sports facility where he was playing did not have an AED available. John died as the result of a stick check to the chest in a club game which disrupted the electrical rhythm of his heart and caused cardiac arrest. John was revived after getting to the ER but unfortunately not in time before he suffered irreversible brain damage. CPR was started immediately, but was not enough to prevent the irreversible brain damage that occurred because they could not get his heart beating again. If the sports facility had an AED, it is possible that John’s heart could have been restarted within minutes and his life could have been saved. The medical cause for John’s death was determined to be: “commotio cordis, which occurs when a non-penetrating blow to the chest directly over the heart during a very narrow phase of the heart beat causes ventricular fibrillation, or other types of arrhythmia, in an otherwise healthy heart. The vulnerable period is believed to last only 10- to 30-thousandths of a second. High school and youth athletes appear to be most at risk as the average age of victims was 14 years old and nearly 80 percent of cases occurred in people under 18. Some researchers have attributed this to younger athletes having a more pliable chest wall. Treatment of commotio cordis requires a quick response and an AED on site. The Commotio Cordis Registry reported that 25 percent of those who received resuscitative measures in less than four minutes survived while in 38 cases of delayed resuscitation only one person survived.” I knew Johnny Mack because I am friends with his cousins, Connor and Colin Mack and we had been to lacrosse camp at LeMoyne together. Johnny’s death made me realize that I wanted to help to make sure that there are AED’s available and that there are trained people who can use the AED if it is needed.
A few weeks after Johnny Mack died, I was at my brothers’ wrestling tournament in Newark Valley. One of the parents of a UE wrestler, John Lupo, collapsed in the stands. Parents and coaches alike rushed to help him. CPR was started immediately and one of the coaches grabbed the AED which was located just steps away from where Mr. Lupo collapsed. The AED was connected and as his wrestling family stood by watching, the AED proceeded to shock him three times. On the third time, his heart restarted beating, his color came back and he actually woke up and sat up! What a different outcome than poor Johnny Mack.
Because of these recent incidents, our whole community now understands the need to have AED’s available at all contact sporting events. To save lives, the AED’s must be available immediately (within several minutes) to be effective. Because the cost of a portable AED is still fairly expensive (approx $1200/each), it is difficult for smaller organizations to have the devices available. This is why I want to raise the money for an AED for Endicott Youth Football and follow through with the education sessions so that the coaches and parents know how to use the AED if it is required.
AED & CPR Education is a critical part of my project because just having an AED available does not help the situation. You must have trained help available at all times who can immediately start CPR while the AED is being setup and readied. As a part of my Boy Scout First Aid training, I have been certified in CPR and AED and I understand how important it is to have as many people trained in these critical skills as possible. Additionally, I need to raise about $500 for the education portion of the project. I need to get the required documentation for the classes and I want everyone to have a pocket sized card with CPR/AED instructions.
I would use the grant money towards the education section of the project to buy the dummies and the DVD versions of the instructional material. This material could then be used again and again throughout the schools and community groups to make sure that as many people as possible know CPR and how to use an AED to save a life. I think this is a most important project for our community and it could be easily reproduced across the country to save lives. Every sports facility should have an AED readily available and coaches, parents, teachers, and even students should know how to operate an AED to save a life. Thank you for your consideration.