The National Football League today announced the launch of The Smart Heart Sports Coalition, a partnership between the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, American Red Cross, American Heart Association, Korey Stringer Institute, National Athletic Trainers Association and Damar Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation. The Smart Heart Sports Coalition is advocating for all 50 states to adopt evidence-based policies that will prevent fatal outcomes from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) among high school students.
The coalition is advocating for the implementation of three best practice policies to prevent death from Sudden Cardiac Arrest:
- Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) for each high school athletic venue that are widely distributed, posted, rehearsed, and updated annually;
- Clearly marked automated external defibrillator (AEDs) at each athletic venue or within 1-3 minutes of each venue where high school practices or competitions are held; and,
- CPR and AED education for coaches.
As part of this campaign, the NFL Foundation has committed at least $1 million in grants to support nationwide CPR education and AED access. The NFL Foundation will work alongside the Red Cross and American Heart Association to promote and reinforce a nationwide effort to raise awareness of and prevent fatalities from sudden cardiac arrest, including through hands-only CPR education. This collaboration will ensure that CPR education and AED access remain a priority in schools and communities across the country.
“Common sense medical emergency policies are critical for student athlete safety,” said Jeff Miller, NFL executive vice president of Communications, Public Affairs and Policy. “The knowledge to effectively deliver CPR, have access to an AED, and have in place an emergency plan makes a difference in saving a life. We want to help create communities that are empowered with the tools and skills to do just that. Student athletes deserve it.”
“The American Red Cross is proud to support and promote the NFL’s new, national advocacy campaign to highlight the need for safety policies and training to prevent sudden cardiac arrest deaths among young people,” said Jack McMaster, president of Red Cross Training Services. “Part of the Red Cross vision is that there will always be trained individuals nearby, ready to use their skills to save lives when an emergency occurs. Getting trained in CPR and AED skills is the first step and this coalition will help all high schools reach that goal.”