NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, NHL, NCAA to Launch ‘Smart Heart Sports Coalition’
That will Prevent Cardiac Arrest Among High School Students
By Jim Hoft
The Gateway Pundit 3.30.23
"NFL player Damar Hamlin collapses on field in apparent heart attack this year"
After ignoring the alarming increase in heart attack deaths among children and adults for three years, the mainstream media and the government finally began to cover the story.
However, they are too blind to see the cause of these incidents.
The Heart Smart Sports Coalition, a coalition between the nation’s major sports leagues and medical advocacy institutions, held its official launch press conference on March 27, 2023.
The coalition’s goal is to have all 50 states implement policies based on scientific evidence that will reduce the number of deaths among high school students caused by Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).
The American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Korey Stringer Institute, National Athletic Trainers’ Association, and Damar Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation are all on board as well.
“The National Football League today announced the launch of The Smart Heart Sports Coalition, a collaboration among the NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, NHL, NCAA, the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Korey Stringer Institute, National Athletic Trainers’ Association and Damar Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation. The Smart Heart Sports Coalition is advocating for all 50 states to adopt evidence-based policies that will prevent fatal outcomes from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) among high school students,” according to the news release.
“A conversation around health and safety at the NFL and this past season must begin with a conversation around Damar Hamlin and the heroic work that was done by the medical professionals, the trainers and the doctors on the sidelines. Not an accident that those people were there – practiced, trained with the right equipment and the right process to ensure the best possible outcome in a really challenging situation. And for that, the NFL is grateful,” Jeff Miller said during the in-person kickoff press conference.
“There are up to 23,000 Sudden Cardiac Arrests among young people aged 18 and younger in this country every year. Forty percent of them happen when kids are participating in athletics. And yet, there aren’t a lot of policies in place at schools around the country to have the foundational elements that we’re able to have at the NFL to prevent what are otherwise preventable tragedies,” he added.
More from the release.
The coalition is advocating for the implementation of three best practice policies to prevent death from Sudden Cardiac Arrest:
Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) for each high school athletic venue that are widely distributed, posted, rehearsed, and updated annually;
Clearly marked automated external defibrillator (AEDs) at each athletic venue or within 1-3 minutes of each venue where high school practices or competitions are held; and,
CPR and AED education for coaches.
Currently only seven states have implemented all three best practice policies; 12 states have none. SCA is a life-threatening emergency that can quickly become fatal if proper steps are not immediately taken. As many as 23,000 people under the age of 18 experience SCA annually (out-of-hospital). It is the leading cause of death for student athletes. Sports-related SCA accounted for nearly 40% of SCAs among people under the age of 18. If implemented across all 50 states, these simple, cost-effective strategies can prevent deaths from SCA. To mark the beginning of this effort, The Smart Heart Sports Coalition today sent letters to the Governors of 43 states where additional polices – whether through legislation or regulation – are needed. The coalition will follow up with a proactive, coordinated and sustained effort to encourage policymakers and stakeholders across the country to adopt these policies within the next three years. As part of this campaign, the NFL Foundation has committed more than $1 million in grants to support nationwide CPR education and AED access. The NFL Foundation will make available to each NFL club $20,000 in grants to promote CPR education and training. NFL clubs may leverage these grants to partner with public or private nonprofit organizations to support CPR education wherever needed, including, for example, among youth and student athlete programs, elementary and secondary schools, and the general population. The NFL Foundation club grants will also support high schools – especially those in financially distressed communities – in purchasing and maintaining AEDs. With this targeted funding, clubs may help states meet the goal of making AEDs available in every secondary school athletic setting. In addition to the club grants, the NFL Foundation will work alongside the American Heart Association and American Red Cross to promote and reinforce a nationwide effort to raise awareness of and prevent fatalities from sudden cardiac arrest, including through hands-only CPR education. This collaboration will ensure that CPR education and AED access remain a priority in schools and communities across the country, even beyond club markets. “The simple goal of this effort is to save lives. These common-sense policies are simple, proven steps that are critical for student athlete safety,” said Jeff Miller, NFL Executive Vice President of Communications, Public Affairs and Policy. “Schools in every state should have policies in place to deliver CPR effectively, have immediate access to an AED, and know what to do in case of an emergency. Student athletes deserve it.”