Emergency resources available for student athletes
Posted on 02/06/2023
Mondays with Maria Banner



Jamie Holmes: Hello everyone. I'm Jamie Holmes and I'm here with Superintendent Vazquez for this week's Mondays with Maria. So Dr. Vazquez, there've been a lot of stories in the news about Buffalo Bill's player Damar Hamlin and his cardiac arrest on the field during a football game, and a lot of parents are thinking about their own young athletes involved in sports when something like this happens.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: Yes, and I'm so happy to hear that Damar Hamlin is out of the hospital and recovering at home. As a parent and a grandparent, I can relate, it can be a very big concern, especially for children who have not had the proper physicals before they get on the field, which is why sports physicals are a requirement in our district. And electoral cardiograms, also known as EKGs, are also required.

Jamie Holmes: And studies have shown that sudden cardiac arrest is a condition where death can result from an abrupt loss of heart function, and it is the leading cause of death in athletes.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: An EKG screening assist in diagnosing several heart conditions that can contribute in a sudden cardiac arrest event. The district has partners with several organizations to promote and also perform these lifesaving physicals.

Jamie Holmes: So there's also athletic trainers that are on the high school campuses, and that is a life-saving resource available during practice and during games.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: Yes, they are CPR certified and just one of the many people on campus every day who are able to perform hands-only CPR and use the automated defibrillator. That is also available on all campuses. The athletic director and coaches also have access to the AEDs. In fact, when it comes to lifesaving measures, hundreds of students on every campus are trained in hands only CPR every year through an initiative that began many years ago on World Heart Day, every high school and Orange technical campus will provide the training to over 30,000 students thanks to support of local first responders and our health partners.

Jamie Holmes: Oh my goodness. The ability that that event has to train thousands of students in the community in CPR, that is so valuable. And not only CPR, but we're also talking about checking vitals and assessing ABC, which is airway breathing and circulation

Dr. Maria Vazquez: And performing chest compressions until medical professionals arrive. The knowledge and training students receive is a benefit to the whole community. OCPS is also partnered with the American Heart Association on this event and others,

Jamie Holmes: And I understand you're on the board of the American Heart Association.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: Yes, and I am so proud to be part of the work that they do.

Jamie Holmes: So it is extremely helpful to know what resources are available every day on school campuses across Orange County, and to know that this training is taking place that is reassuring when or if the next emergency happens.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: It's a reality and it's critical that we prepare and are training others to be prepared. If you have any questions about what and where the resources are on your child's campus, please reach out to your principal for additional information. I know they would be happy to share what's available in case of an emergency. Thank you so much for watching. I'll see you next week.