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Posted by By Derek Bayne July 28, 2023 on Sep 4th 2023

Local trainers ready to react in case of emergency

Local trainers ready to react in case of emergency
In the wake of Bronny James, son of NBA superstar LeBron James, having a cardiac arrest in practice at USC, local trainers are making sure they're ready in case something like that happens.

"If somebody goes down on the field with no previous signs or symptoms, they're good one second and the next second they're down not moving on the field or the court, that has to be in your differential diagnosis list," explains Alison Lipton, an athletic trainer for Belvidere High School. "You need to be prepared if this is something that's presenting. You need to be ready to go."

Lipton says every minute is precious when it comes to a cardiac arrest situation. Studies have shown that every minute without an AED, or automated external defibrillator, the chance of survival from a cardiac arrest goes down ten percent.

Lipton, a Keith Country Day grad who played college volleyball at Ithaca, has not had to deal with a situation like that as a trainer so far in her career. But she has experienced it while playing college volleyball.

"I witnessed it as an athlete in college at a tournament," she says. "One of the away coaches had a heart attack. The athletic training staff there was right on it. They took care of things. They knew where their AED was. They were right on time. It took probably less than two minutes."

And as high school football practice gets set to go in a little more than a week, trainers are preparing for whatever might come their way. The heat is another big factor they have to combat at this time of year.

"Heat illness is number one on all our minds as athletic trainers," Lipton said. "We've set up a cold tub right by our practice field."

Lipton urges coaches to make sure they're up-to-date on their CPR training and to make sure an athletic trainer is present at every game.