American Medical Society for Sports Medicine
For Immediate Release May 03, 2004

OVERLAND PARK, KANSAS:  Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest affects over 400,000 people annually and is the leading cause of death in the United States.  Sudden cardiac arrest, although rare, is also the leading cause of death in young athletes.  Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are portable computerized medical devices that can recognize abnormal heart rhythms and advise and deliver a shock when needed. In the sports medicine community, placement of AEDs at public sporting events is a growing national trend, and the presence of AEDs at university sporting events has been motivated in large part by an effort to protect student-athletes from a catastrophic event.  Jonathan Drezner, MD presented research supporting the use of AEDs in an university setting at the annual meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine this month in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Dr. Drezner examined the prevalence, past utilization, and costs of AEDs at NCAA Division I universities.  Ninety-one percent of Division I universities already have AEDs at selected sporting venues and athletic facilities.  Institutions had an average of 4 AEDs (range 1-30) with the athletic training room being the most common location.  Thirty-five cases of AED use for sudden cardiac arrest were identified, with 77% (27/35) occurring in older non-students such as spectators, coaches, officials, and event staff.  The immediate resuscitation rate was 54% (19/35), and if a shock was delivered the resuscitation rate improved to 71%.  Five cases of sudden cardiac arrest occurred in intercollegiate athletes but none were successfully resuscitated.  The average cost per AED was $2,500, and the cost per life immediately resuscitated was $49,000 and the estimated cost per life-year gained $10,000 to $22,000.
Dr. Drezner concludes that the use of AEDs to treat sudden cardiac arrest at university sporting venues and athletic facilities resulted in a favorable survival rate and long-term cost analysis.  Although larger studies are needed to better define the optimal location of AEDs and to further examine their use in intercollegiate athletes, the implementation of AEDs at university sporting venues and recreation facilities is encouraged.  Dr. Drezner is an assistant professor in the Department of Family Practice & Community Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and a member of the AMSSM.
The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) was organized in 1991by physicians who recognized the need for an organization within the field of sports medicine that approached athletes, exercising individuals, and teams comprehensively with consultative and continuous care of their orthopedic, medical, nutritional, and psychosocial issues.  Although sports medicine concepts are often thought of in conjunction with professional and elite athletes, these concepts apply to athletes of all levels including grade school, high school, college and recreational athletes.  AMSSM is comprised of over 800 Sports Medicine Physicians whose goal is to provide a link between the rapidly expanding core of knowledge related to sports medicine and its application to patients in a clinical setting.

NOTE: For more information, please contact the AMSSM, 4000 W. 114th St., Suite 100, Leawood, KS 66211, (913) 327-1415.

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4000 W. 114th Street, Suite 100
Leawood, KS 66211
Phone: 913.327.1415

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