The Importance of an Emergency Action Planning
Each year, it is estimated that 1 in 50,000 to 1 in 80,000 athletes will suffer sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) during or shortly after physical activity. Prompt recognition of SCA, response with CPR and application of an automated external defibrillator (AED) saves lives. A well-planned, well-rehearsed emergency action plan (EAP) is recommended for any organization, school, or institution that sponsors athletic activity.
A comprehensive EAP should include items such as mental health emergencies, concussion management, heat illness, and severe weather to name a few.
Best practices for an Emergency Action Plan for SCA
- Establish an EAP leader or coordinator. This person is responsible for developing the plan, communicating the plan, and coordinating drills.
- Make sure all stakeholders are trained in CPR and AED use.
- Train first responders on how to identify Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).
- Ensure the AEDs are conveniently located and accessible.
- Include a map of AED locations in the given facility.
- Identify the nearest medical facility.
- Conduct drills of the Emergency Action Plan (EAP).
- Conduct a review before any formal athletic competition.