Importance of Having AEDs At Sporting Events

Importance of Having AEDs At Sporting Events

August 11, 2022

AED for sporting events

Each year approximately 23,000 youth suffer from sudden cardiac arrest. According to Parent Heart Watch, sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death among student-athletes. When someone suffers sudden cardiac arrest, immediate CPR and the quick use of an AED can double or triple the person’s chances of survival.

Every day we have athletes participating in training, practice, and games on fields across the world. It is crucial these fields are equipped and prepared to help save someone’s life if they suffer sudden cardiac arrest.

What do fields need to have in place to ensure someone in sudden cardiac arrest has the highest chances of survival? AEDs at sporting events are crucial to have in case an athlete is experiencing SCA .

Athletic Trainer

Although it is not always possible, having an athletic trainer on site during all practice and competition can greatly increase chances of survival when someone suffers sudden cardiac arrest. Athletic trainers are not only certified in CPR and how to use an AED, but they typically have the proper equipment with them to use in an emergency.

AEDS For Sporting Events

Having just one AED is NOT enough! AEDS should be accessible within 3 minutes of all locations. Statistically, if someone is shocked within one minute of suffering a sudden cardiac arrest, they have a 90% chance of survival. Each minute after decreases their chances of survival 10%. AEDS should be strategically placed throughout the fields to ensure they are always accessible within 3 minutes. AEDS should NOT be locked inside a cabinet or a building.

AED Program Management

Your AED should ALWAYS be ready to save a life. AEDs require minor maintenance and must be checked monthly. When checking your AED, here are some things you should look for:

• Is the readiness indicator on your AED flashing green?
• Does the AED appear to be undamaged and ready for use?
• Is the AED free of chirping and warning notifications?
• Are the AED supplies (CPR/AED rescue kit and electrode pads) available and within their usable dates?

If you answer “no” to any of these questions when checking your AED, you should service your AED right away!

AED batteries can last anywhere from 4-7 years. They should have an expiration date on the battery pack so you know exactly when to change them. Make sure you order them in advance, so you have them before the current battery expires! Pads last two years whether they are used or not. They also will have an expiration date on them. Always keep a spare supply of the battery pack and pads on hand to ensure your AED is always ready for use!

Using a program management system is a great way to maintain your AED. Defibtech offers DefibtechMD, which provides a best-in-class Customer Service team who is ready to help you get the most out of your AED.

Trained Responders

It is important that you have a large group of people who are prepared to provide CPR and use the AED if needed. All coaches and administrators that are on site at practices and games should have up to date certification to help save a life. These people should be prepared, understand the emergency action plan, and be ready to put it into action if needed. CPR and AED certification typically lasts for two years.

Emergency Action Plan

Finally, you need to have a Cardiac Emergency Response plan that is written and reviewed frequently. This plan should include:

• Who are the trained responders?
• AED Placement and Maintenance
• Communication of this plan to all staff
• Cardiac Emergency Response Drills
• Engage Local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and integrate them into your plan
• Review and evaluate the Emergency Action Plan annually

Just having an AED is NOT enough. AEDS do need to be accessible at ALL times within 3 minutes of all locations. Incorporating the AED with a maintenance plan, trained responders, and an emergency action plan will ensure the highest chances of survival if a student-athlete suffers sudden cardiac arrest at the field.

To learn more about Defibtech and to join us on our quest to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest, visit