For Immediate Release
April 05, 2012
Emergency Medical Services
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B.A.A. to Offer CPR Demonstrations to Boston Marathon Runners
BOSTON – The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.), in partnership with the American Red Cross (ARC) and the American Heart Association (AHA), will offer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) demonstration classes during Marathon Weekend at the 35th Annual John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo at the Seaport WorldTradeCenter inSouth Boston.
All of the 2012 Boston Marathon participants will be emailed a link to the video introduction of "hands only" CPR. The video features three-time Super Bowl Champion, Tedy Bruschi. To view the video, click here
The CPR classes will allow Boston Marathon runners, family members, and community spectators the opportunity to familiarize themselves with simple and potentially life-saving techniques should they witness a race-related cardiac arrest – a very rare occurrence.
This public awareness initiative follows a recent study led by the B.A.A. medical team which examined cardiac arrests during marathons and found that bystander CPR, specifically CPR performed by other runners or spectators, was the most important determinant of life or death.
Although routine exercise reduces the overall risk of cardiovascular disease, exercise can increase the risk of cardiac arrest in individuals with underlying health conditions. The demonstration sessions will equip runners and spectators with the basic tools and understanding to perform rapid and effective CPR that could save a life. Brief sessions will demonstrate the basics of “hands only” CPR, a technique known and recommended for resuscitation. The classes should result in a critical mass of runners and spectators having the knowledge and tools necessary to assist in the event of an emergency.
Leading the CPR demonstration classes will be Dr. Aaron L. Baggish, Associate Director of the Cardiovascular Performance Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Baggish was the principal author of a study which appeared in the January 2012 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The study examined 59 runners whose hearts stopped during marathon or half marathon races over the past decade in the United States. Among 31 cases with complete clinical data, the researchers found that all eight who survived had received CPR from a bystander.
Along with Dr. Baggish, members of the B.A.A.’s Medical Team, Chris Troyanos, ATC, Pierre d’Hemecourt, MD, and Sophia Dyer, MD have organized the CPR demonstration sessions. The sessions, which will last approximately 30 minutes, will take place at 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, April 14 and 15. Boston Marathon runners who wish to reserve a seat may do so by sending an email to CPR@baa.org.
The CPR demonstrations are part of the B.A.A.’s ongoing commitment to runner safety. The B.A.A. has enjoyed a longstanding partnership with the American Red Cross to ensure that all the necessary precautions are taken to keep runners safe on the course. For the comfort and safety of all runners, the American Red Cross will provide up to 325 medical volunteers and the B.A.A. will provide medical supplies, ice, Poland Spring® water and Gatorade® for this year’s Boston Marathon on April 16, 2012. The Boston Marathon is equipped with 28 medical stations along the course, roving volunteers with portable defibrillators every half mile, and two medical tents at the finish line.