UGA Student-Athletes Learn CPR

Nov. 9, 2011

ATHENS -- The University of Georgia student-athletes will soon be knowledgeable in emergency preparedness, as the Bulldog athletes will be taking CPR classes over the 2011-12 academic year.

Baseball will be the first team to participate with their class on Thursday, but all sports will learn the life-saving measure. There could be up to 30 classes taught because of the size of some sports like football, equestrian, and track and field. The sports medicine staff originally only had classes with the coaches, but is now reaching across the board as emergencies can happen on and off the field at anytime.

"The athletic association created a goal of teaching cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) to every student-athlete," said Director of Sports Medicine Ron Courson. "We feel this is a critical skill which everyone should know. By teaching CPR to our student-athletes, we are equipping them with the skills to make a difference in a life-threatening emergency."

The athletic training staff at Georgia are American Heart Association (AHA) CPR instructors and will teach the CPR course. The student-athletes will learn everything about CPR--how to call 911, determine cardiac arrest, do CPR and work an AED to name a few. They will be learning this through lecture and participation with mannequins.

"Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States," Courson said. "Emergency medical services treat approximately 300,000 victims of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) every year. About 92% of SCA victims die before reaching the hospital, but statistics prove that if more people knew CPR, more lives could be saved. Immediate CPR can double, or even triple, a victim's chance of survival. With SCA, every minute counts. For each minute delay in the use of an automated external defibrillator, the chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest decreases 10%. Emergency preparedness is the key to survival with SCA."

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