PreventionSudden Cardiac Death

Pennsylvania athletic trainer saves teen’s life at lacrosse camp

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PreventionSudden Cardiac Death

Pennsylvania athletic trainer saves teen’s life at lacrosse camp

Article reposted from The Morning Call
Author: Sarah M. Wojcik

It’s a scene all athletic trainers and coaching staffs train for, but one they never hope to see: an athlete collapses, unresponsive.

During a lacrosse camp Sunday at DeSales University, a 17-year-old boy from Montvale, N.J., fell in a heap on the ground. Staff rushed to his side; among them Catasauqua Area School District athletic trainer John Capozzolo.

He saw the teen collapse face-first from the corner of his eye. He and a colleague tore off the teen’s helmet and pads. Immediately, he could tell the teen’s breathing had stopped and his pulse was undetectable. Capozzolo wasted no time.

“I kind of just went into a zone,” the trainer said Friday. “I heard nothing around me other than the people right next to me. Everything in my head was playing in order, like in a book.”

Capozzolo, in his 13th year at Catasauqua , was at the event to help with staff shortages. He started CPR and delegated. He asked Matthew Brancaccio, head lacrosse coach at DeSales, to fetch an automated external defibrillator and had another trainer call 911.