SPARKS, Md. (WJZ) — It can happen in the blink of an eye, and it can be fatal, a lacrosse player can be struck in the chest with a ball, causing a cardiac arrest.
Now, a Baltimore paramedic is leading the effort to make lacrosse safer for everyone.
Felice Goldbloom is the mother of a lacrosse player, and the founder of "A Player's Pulse"
"About a year and a half ago, my son Cardin and I were watching an ESPN segment about a boy on Long Island who suffered a commotio cordis injury which is a commotion of the heart muscle, sending his heart into ventricular fibrillation from a lacrosse ball in his first high school game," Goldbloom said. "I said to my son, 'Why wasn't there an AED on the field?' so, I said to my son we need to do something,"
She's partnered with U.S. Lacrosse in Sparks, Md., to make sure an automated external defibrillator is placed on every lacrosse field.
"They will keep the boys, the girls, the players, coaches and fans safe," Goldbloom said.
The AEDs are portable and easy to use, there is a four to six-minute window for survival.
"The AED is really the life-saving treatment, if you put it on the player as soon as you have it and if they have a life-threatening arrhythmia, the AED can save that life," said Dr. Ankit Shah, director of MedStar sports cardiology.
The goal of a player's pulse is to raise AED funding and awareness to make the sport of lacrosse safer for all.
"You just don't want to ever be part of a sporting event where someone dies, that's just horrible, we're talking about children so we have to do everything we can to protect them," said Bruce Griffin, director of the Center for Sports Science at U.S. Lacrosse.
Goldbloom is working hard as a volunteer advocate in getting an AED on every field.
"As a paramedic, it's only a matter of time before I'm called to transport that kid, I don't want to arrive at a site and have to ask, 'Where's the AED?'" She said.
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