New bill hopes to prevent cases of sudden cardiac arrest in young athletes

Lindsay’s Law calls for pre-participation education, online training for sports coaches and guidelines for recognizing and dealing with symptoms

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Sudden Cardiac Arrest affects thousands of athletes each year, and a Former Miss Ohio who suffers from a heart disease is working for new legislation to help fight SCA.

Former Miss Ohio Lindsay Davis was a dancer her entire life and would find herself easily fatigued and could not get her heart to stop racing after practices.

“I would look around and none of the other dancers in my classes were feeling what I was feeling, and my dance teachers thought I was dehydrated, I didn’t eat enough, maybe it was too hot. They thought it was a lack of conditioning,” Davis said.

At one point, Lindsay collapsed and was taken to the emergency room where she was diagnosed with a heart condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy that could potentially lead to Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

“It’s a heart rhythm abnormality. It’s a condition where the heart becomes so abnormal and so disorganized that, really, the heart stops pumping blood effectively, and then the whole body loses circulation. The brain, the heart, everywhere,” said Dr. Thomas Callahan of the Cleveland Clinic.

Davis and Senator Cliff Hite joined forces this year to prevent SCA in Ohio’s student athletes. Their bill is known as Lindsay’s Law and calls for pre-participation education, online training for sports coaches and guidelines for recognizing and dealing with symptoms.

Dr. Callahan said 72 percent of people who dies from the condition previously reported having symptoms that were overlooked.

“It can be dizziness, lightheadedness, feeling like your heart is racing, a lot of fatigue that’s out of proportion to the degree of physical activity that the person is engaged in,” Dr. Callahan said.

Dr. Callahan also said that symptoms will not show until the person collapses.

That is where Lindsay’s Law comes in. She and Dr. Callahan said coaches knowing how to intervene in a case of SCA is critical.

“Education, making people aware of sudden cardiac arrest and getting people trained in CPR,” Dr. Callahan said.

A 10 minute online video would inform coaches of symptoms to better identify the onset of sudden cardiac arrest in their young athletes.

Dr. Callahan said SCA victims can survive if they receive immediate CPR and are treated quickly with defibrillators within three to five minutes of the victim collapsing.

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