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Concussion and Sudden Cardiac Arrest

All registrants must  read and understand important information about Concussions and Sudden Cardiac arrest.  Please read the information below and return to registration to acknowledge.

For additional information please read the CDC Concussion Information.


(1)(a) Concussions are one of the most commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports and recreational activities. The centers for disease control and prevention estimates that as many as three million nine hundred thousand sports-related and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States each year. A concussion is caused by a blow or motion to the head or body that causes the brain to move rapidly inside the skull. The risk of catastrophic injuries or death are significant when a concussion or head injury is not properly evaluated and managed.

(b) Concussions are a type of brain injury that can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works. Concussions can occur in any organized or unorganized sport or recreational activity and can result from a fall or from players colliding with each other, the ground, or with obstacles. Concussions occur with or without loss of consciousness, but the vast majority occurs without loss of consciousness.

(c) Continuing to play with a concussion or symptoms of head injury leaves the young athlete especially vulnerable to greater injury and even death. The legislature recognizes that, despite having generally recognized return to play standards for concussion and head injury, some affected youth athletes are prematurely returned to play resulting in actual or potential physical injury or death to youth athletes in the state of Washington.

(2) Each school district's board of directors shall work in concert with the Washington interscholastic activities association to develop the guidelines and other pertinent information and forms to inform and educate coaches, youth athletes, and their parents and/or guardians of the nature and risk of concussion and head injury including continuing to play after concussion or head injury. On a yearly basis, a concussion and head injury information sheet shall be signed and returned by the youth athlete and the athlete's parent and/or guardian prior to the youth athlete's initiating practice or competition.

(3) A youth athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a practice or game shall be removed from competition at that time.

(4) A youth athlete who has been removed from play may not return to play until the athlete is evaluated by a licensed health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussion and receives written clearance to return to play from that health care provider. The health care provider may be a volunteer. A volunteer who authorizes a youth athlete to return to play is not liable for civil damages resulting from any act or omission in the rendering of such care, other than acts or omissions constituting gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.

(5) This section may be known and cited as the Zackery Lystedt law.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

'The leading cause of death among young athletes is not head injury or trauma during sports, but sudden cardiac arrest,' says Dr. Jonathan Drezner, a UW Medicine family physician who specializes in sports medicine. 'In fact, on average, every three days in the U.S., a young athlete dies during training or play from sudden cardiac arrest.'

What is sudden cardiac arrest?

'Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart loses its normal rhythm and stops beating. Unless the person is quickly resuscitated, it is fatal,' Drezner says. 'The conditions that put young athletes at risk for sudden cardiac arrest are fairly common.'

Who is at greater risk for sudden cardiac arrest?

As many as one in 250 to one in 300 young athletes have a heart disorder that may increase their risk of sudden cardiac arrest. In some cases, these disorders are inherited and sometimes they are ‘acquired’. For example, viral infections of the heart muscle, called myocarditis, increase the risk for sudden cardiac arrest.

'The majority of people with these heart disorders will never have problems, but an important subset of athletes will. If we identify the athletes with these conditions, we can reduce their risk of sudden cardiac death - sometimes with medication, a procedure or with a device,' Drezner says.

In addition, Drezner says, 'Sudden cardiac arrest in athletes is more common among males; African Americans; and, while we don’t know why, basketball players, regardless of their race or ethnicity.'

What are the warnings signs of sudden cardiac arrest?

'Most athletes who have had a sudden cardiac arrest didn't display symptoms beforehand, and few have physical signs that would be detected with a routine sports physical. So, over the past three years we’ve done electrocardiograms, or EKGs, of nearly 8,000 high school student athletes in the greater Seattle area. Of them, we have identified about 30 students with one of these high-risk heart disorders,' says Drezner.

Signs of sudden cardiac arrest include:
* Fainting or lightheadedness during exercise
* Chest pain/discomfort during exercise
* Heart racing, skipping a beat, palpitations during exercise
* Shortness of breath more than your friends
* Tire more easily than friends
* Unexplained seizure activity
* Decrease in physical activity, new onset of fatigue
* Family history of a relative having a heart problem at a young age, less than 50


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Issaquah, Washington 98027

Email: [email protected]

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