Drunk Driving Essay

Submitted By rcrippin
Words: 1011
Pages: 5

Not knowing that this would be the last basketball game that one would ever play again, make every last point count, just as Fennville High School junior basketball star, Wesley Leonard did back on March 3, 2011. Leonard made the game winning basket and then minutes later, while celebrating with his teammates, he collapsed to the floor. The autopsy would later reveal that Wes had an enlarged heart. Sudden deaths in young and talented athletes across America are increasing. However, one never realizes this is happening until someone close to them becomes the victim. There are many ways to help prevent these outcomes. These sudden deaths can be avoided by putting mandatory rules in place that require all athletes to get more in-depth physicals and an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) screening, requiring all public places to have a working automated external defibrillator (AED) on site, and make sure all coaches, players, parents and fans know how to quickly react to these situations when they occur. This will help to dramatically decrease the number of deaths attributed to cardiac arrest. Many researchers believe there is nothing that can be done to prevent sudden death in these young athletes. They have not thought of positive ways or solutions that could help these young lives to survive. Putting the necessary tools and instructions in place could make a huge difference. Bowman (2011) reported that “of 80 deaths from medical causes, 56 percent were heart related” (para. 10). Requiring athletes in all sports to get more in-depth physicals including an EKG would be extremely beneficial. Regular routine physicals typically only include listening to your heart and taking your blood pressure, but Bowman (2011) stated that “Some sports medicine specialist and the advocacy group Parent Heart Watch are urging that all young athletes participating in heavy training at the high school level or even in junior high school competitive sports undergo cardiac screening as part of a pre-participation physical” (para.4). Cardiac screening would help to detect any heart issues such as an irregular heartbeat. In addition, a more in-depth family history form should be filled out during a regular routine physical. If anyone in the family has had any past heart problems, it would require that the athlete be further tested. In the article by Mosca, Shay, and Maron (2007), Maron stated “many of the cardiac diseases that can lead to sudden death can be spotted through screenings” (para.8). The benefit of being tested are not just to be cleared to play sports, but to also know if one has carried down a genetic disease from a family member. It is hard to imagine that the only thing standing between life and death for Wes was an AED that had working batteries in it. Richard Helgeson (2007) explained that “you have about 10 minutes [from collapse to death]. An AED can bring you back to life. The only thing that will save you is an AED. You get the shock and live, or you don’t and you die” (para. 14). However, making sure that all public facilities are equipped with a working AED should also be mandatory. The cost of an AED is around $2,600 (Never Forgotten, 2013), but it is not enough to just have an AED in place. There needs to be a yearly equipment check on these devices to make sure it is properly working. Alongside having the AED, all employees, along with coaches and staff within the facility having the AED device, need to receive adequate training on how to use it. In addition to knowing how to use the AED in an emergency situation, all coaches, staff members, and parents need to be certified in CPR and know how to react if such an event occurred. All coaches need to have a documented action plan put together for each sports season, making sure all of the correct procedures are clear to understand to help save someone’s life. If every person in America was trained on basic medical procedures regarding what