Search This Blog

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The story misses the point.

Here's the short form: If there had been an AED at the event where Louis died, he likely wouldn't have died. The simple fact - and the 75% average survival rate for witnessed cardiac arrests at the Phoenix Airport proves this - is that if someone arrests and both immediate CPR plus prompt defibrillation happens, the sudden cardiac arrest victim has a 75% chance of getting discharged from the hospital with major brain function intact. This is not complex. If you are not trained in bystander CPR, get trained. If you have a child in school, be an obnoxious pest if the school does not have an AED accessible whenever school is in session and at every athletic practice or competition. If you do this, the odds of survival are 75%. If you don't, it's 5%. It happens, and it's up to you to make sure that it's not your child that dies. Bob ______________________ DHHS Boy's Lacrosse May Just Save Your Life

It all started when Daniel Hand High School's Coach Lombardo and Assistant Coach George Baldassare of the Boys Lacrosse Program in Madison spoke to the Northport, N.Y. Boys’ Lacrosse Coach at the Annual DHHS Hammonasset Boys Jamboree in March.

The Northport coach told the Madison coaches that Northport brings their own AEDs or Automatic External Defibrillators to all lacrosse games and other athletic events, ever since Northport lost 14-year-old Louis Acompora, a lacrosse goalie in 2000.

Louis sustained a blunt blow to his chest from a lacrosse ball, which caused a condition called commotio cordis. Commotio Cordis occurs when the chest sustains a blunt blow during the precise moment the heart is at rest between beats. The heart quivers and goes into an irregular rhythm, which can be reversed only by defibrillation. Commotio Cordis causes SCA, sudden cardiac arrest. Each year thousands of healthy young people suffer sudden cardiac arrest and death, which can often be prevented. In 2000, there were no state laws mandating AEDs in schools. Unfortunately, Louis passed away due to SCA.

In 2007, Connecticut’s own Norwich Larry Pontbriant, a very athletic 15-year-old dropped dead in front of his parents while running. He too was a lacrosse player. Though CPR was initiated immediately, the ambulance with the AED was not able to reach Larry in time to save him. Brain damage from lack of oxygen can occur in as little as 4 to 6 minutes. After a brief time in the hospital, Larry passed away. The AED arrived too late to save Larry.

Every minute an AED isn’t used during sudden cardiac arrest, one’s chance of survival decreases 7 to 10%. After three minutes, survival rates decrease dramatically. According to “The Larry Pontbriant Athletic Safety Fund” website, “CPR at best is only 25% efficient at pumping enough blood to the brain in SCA though necessary.” Thus, it is imperative that AEDs are readily accessible and available. Commotio Cordis and sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, young or old.

DHHS Varsity Lacrosse Captains Paul Alberti, Chad Crisco and Casey Dowd wanted their program to give back to the community.

After talking, fund raising, a very generous donation from a lacrosse parent, and much research, they decided they would ask the lacrosse program to purchase and donate an AED to a Connecticut school that was in need.

The Connecticut legislature passed in July of 2009 currently states that schools in the state are required to have AEDs as well as provide the necessary training of staff. The school staff must also maintain the AED. This bill became effective in 2010. Unfortunately a local or regional board of education shall not be required to comply with the provisions if federal, state or private funding is not available to such local and regional board of education to purchase an AED and pay for the training of school personnel.

After The DHHS lacrosse players approached the boys Lacrosse boosters with this fabulous idea, how could we say nom said Valerie Alberti and Shelly Farmer, co-presidents of the boosters. The vote was a unanimous ‘"yes" across the board.

Attempts were made to contact the Athletic Director of the New Haven Schools. The understanding was that most if not all New Haven schools had AEDs. Pontbriant's mom told Alberti and Farmer that The Pontbriant Athletic Safety Fund was founded to raise funds for the purchase of AEDs for schools and athletic fields. So far they have donated over 75 AEDs to those in need.

Please log onto Parent Heart Watch, you will see many survival stories, as well as stories that touch the heart.

So after much research and investigating, The DHHS Lacrosse boy’s teams discovered an AED would be greatly appreciated in their own back yard.

Madison’s middle school, Polson, wanted and needed and AED in their gym lobby. Though the school is already equipped with an AED, it was felt one was needed closer to the gymnasium and to the high school turf for easy accessibility. The question of where to donate the AED was solved.

After approval from the Madison Board of Education and the superintendent, the boys decided they would like to donate the AED in honor of their former lacrosse teammate, Jordan Kinscherf.

Jordan Kinscherf an avid lacrosse and soccer player, a wonderful friend and young man, who tragically lost his life just two years ago. “Jordan will never be forgotten,” said Mike Frey one of Jordan’s classmates and teammates. “He will forever be in our hearts.”

“This donation is a reminder that Jordan’s life is to be celebrated,” said Timmy Farmer, a varsity lacrosse player. Jordan’s memory will prevail.

After receiving approval from Mr. and Mrs. Kinscherf and Jordan’s sister Meredith, the AED was donated in honor of Jordan. Jordan will always be remembered and his memory will always be eternal.

Just this past June, a Jamesville-Dewitt, N.Y. lacrosse goalie sustained a lacrosse ball to his chest. His heart went into commotio cordis. Fortunately, this young man’s coaches and athletic trainer assessed the situation, initiated CPR, called 911 and grabbed an nearby AED.

It was due to this quick plan of action and use of the AED that this young man is doing fine today. Due to the hard work of people such as the Acomporas and the Pontbriants getting legislature changed, an AED was nearby, used, and this young goalie was saved and is fine.

Thank you DHHS Boys Lacrosse Program for giving back to the community. The life you save may be your own, or someone close to you. Madison is proud of all of you.

For more information on AEDs and touching stories contact:

The Louis J. Acompora Memorial Foundation

The Larry Pontbriant Athletic Safety Fund

Parent Heart Watch J-D lacrosse player revived after being struck by ball at tryout

State of Connecticut, Senate Bill 981, “An Act Concerning the Availability of Automatic External Defibrillators in Schools.” Public Act 09-94

This article was written by Valerie Alberti, who is honored to be part of the DHHS Boys Lacrosse Boosters and Madison Community. If you would like us to run an article you wrote, please send it to

This is what is supposed to happen!

Bystanders save heart victim at 'Y' Shavalya Matthews had just finished a fitness workout Tuesday morning when she heard a commotion on the Bear-Glasgow YMCA’s basketball court.
YMCA staff were working frantically to revive 22-year-old Kyle Trent, who had collapsed and gone into cardiac arrest while performing basketball drills, Matthews said.
After administering CPR, the YMCA staff used an automated external defibrillator to keep Trent’s heart pumping blood and oxygen before paramedics could arrive.
“It was remarkable,” said Matthews, of Newark. “It changed my whole entire life to see someone relentlessly performing CPR and save this man’s life.”
The chances of surviving out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are slim, with 10 percent or fewer patients living to be discharged from the hospital in some medical studies.
Doctors told Trent’s parents that the work of the YMCA employees helped their son narrowly escape death last week. After spending 24 hours in a medically induced coma, Trent is recovering at Christiana Hospital over the New Year’s holiday.
“They really don’t have a clear explanation of what happened,” said mother Terri Trent, whose son is a 2007 graduate of Howard High School.
YMCA of Delaware staff declined comment about Kyle Trent, citing a federal health privacy law.
But Trent’s parents, Terri and Warren, and Matthews are praising YMCA employees for quickly coming to the young man’s aid within 90 seconds of his collapse on the basketball court.
The Trents, formerly of Newark, and their daughter, Kyra, flew cross-country Tuesday from their home in Phoenix, arriving at midnight Wednesday to a hospital waiting room full of Delaware friends.
“This was a parent’s worst nightmare,” Warren Trent said. “People stood in the gap until we got here.”
Christiana Hospital surgeons implanted a defibrillator inside Trent’s chest, his father said.
The three YMCA employees who performed CPR and New Castle County paramedics who rushed him to the emergency room visited the Trent family at the hospital this week, Warren Trent said.
“What do you say to someone who saved somebody’s life other than thank you?” said Warren Trent, a former Wilmington bureau chief for WPVI-TV who now works for a TV station in Phoenix.
After Kyle’s near-death experience, Warren Trent said he hopes more public buildings and parks become equipped with automated external defibrillators.
Terri Trent is thankful for the family’s friends in Delaware who have visited the hospital this week and started a prayer chain.
“It is nothing short of a miracle,” Terri Trent said. “I personally believe it’s the story of prayer that saved him.”
Kyle Trent, a junior English major at Neumann University in Aston, Pa., likely will not be on a basketball court for the next several months, his father said.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Kyle Trent said Friday from his hospital bed. “I’m ready to get out of bed.”
Written by Chad Livengood - Published in Delaware Online, A Gannett Company.