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Industry + Centers fOr Mass Practice and Readiness Education to Save Student-Athletes


    To advocate, plan and deliver education and resources to improve student and student-athlete cardiovascular health, screening and safety with a specific focus and emphasis on medically underserved areas.

    Current medical literature state an unmet need for improved education and resources for cardiovascular health and safety for student athletes. Despite ongoing efforts to expand knowledge for emergency readiness, including hands only CPR training and AED availability and education, there is a continued shortage of educational resources and AED availability and responsive plans, especially in medically underserved areas (e.g. low socioeconomic education districts). I+COMPRESS is a non-for-profit entity that focuses on mediating collaboration between industry specializing in cardiovascular therapy and existing organizations (e.g. American Heart Association) to deliver education and resources (including AEDs) to needing communities.

    Sudden cardiac death (SCD) among athletes is a rare but tragic occurrence that has garnered significant attention due to its sudden and unexpected nature. While athletes are often considered individuals in excellent health, the reality is that they can be susceptible to certain cardiac conditions that predispose them to SCD. 

    Understanding Sudden Cardiac Death:
    SCD is defined as an unexpected death due to cardiac causes that occur within one hour of symptom onset. In athletes, SCD is often attributed to structural or electrical abnormalities of the heart, including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), coronary artery anomalies, and inherited channelopathies such as long QT syndrome (LQTS) and Brugada syndrome. These conditions can go undetected and may manifest during periods of intense physical exertion, making athletes particularly vulnerable.

    Risk Factors and Screening:
    Young athletes, in particular, face unique risk factors for SCD, including genetic predispositions, training intensity, and environmental factors. The sudden and devastating nature of SCD in this demographic underscores the importance of pre-participation screening programs. While controversial, electrocardiogram (ECG) screening has been proposed as a tool to detect underlying cardiac abnormalities in athletes. However, challenges such as cost-effectiveness, false positives, and variability in interpretation remain significant hurdles to widespread implementation.

    Prevention and Psychosocial Implications:

    Preventing SCD in young athletes requires a multi-faceted approach that encompasses education, early detection, and appropriate management of cardiac conditions. Increasing awareness among athletes, coaches, and medical professionals about the signs and symptoms of cardiac abnormalities is crucial for prompt intervention. Additionally, implementing standardized screening protocols, including ECG and echocardiographic testing where feasible, can aid in identifying at-risk individuals and mitigating the risk of SCD through lifestyle modifications, medication, or, in some cases, surgical intervention.
    The sudden loss of a young athlete to SCD not only impacts the individual’s family and friends but also reverberates throughout the sporting community. The psychological toll of such events can be profound, leading to feelings of grief, guilt, and fear among fellow athletes and coaches.


    Out-of-hospital sudden cardiac death (SCD) is a leading cause of mortality worldwide, with survival rates often dependent on the timely administration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation. Hands-only CPR, coupled with the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), has emerged as a simple yet effective strategy for bystanders to intervene in SCD emergencies. This paper examines the importance and effectiveness of hands-only CPR and AED in out-of-hospital SCD scenarios.

    Hands-only CPR, also known as compression-only CPR, involves uninterrupted chest compressions without mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing. This simplified technique is easy to learn and remember, making it accessible to a broader segment of the population. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends hands-only CPR for untrained bystanders who witness a sudden collapse in an adult victim. By focusing solely on chest compressions, bystanders can maintain blood circulation and oxygen delivery to vital organs, significantly improving the chances of survival until professional help arrives.

    Numerous studies have demonstrated the efficacy of hands-only CPR in improving survival outcomes for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients. The simplicity of the technique increases the likelihood of bystander intervention, leading to earlier initiation of CPR and ultimately better outcomes. Moreover, hands-only CPR minimizes the hesitation or reluctance to perform CPR, particularly among laypersons who may be unfamiliar with traditional CPR techniques involving rescue breathing. As a result, hands-only CPR has been credited with saving countless lives and increasing survival rates in SCD incidents.

    More specifically, research by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) consistently supports the efficacy of hands-only CPR in maintaining blood circulation and oxygen delivery to vital organs.  Multiple studies have found that bystander-initiated hands-only CPR was associated with significantly higher rates of survival to hospital discharge compared to conventional CPR, highlighting its simplicity and accessibility for laypersons.

    AEDs are portable devices designed to deliver an electric shock to the heart to restore normal rhythm in cases of sudden cardiac arrest. These user-friendly devices analyze the heart’s rhythm and prompt the operator to administer a shock if indicated. When combined with hands-only CPR, AEDs significantly enhance the chances of survival for OHCA victims. 


    Healthcare disparities in access to CPR and AEDs persist globally, exacerbating health outcomes for marginalized communities. Access to CPR training and AED placement varies significantly based on socioeconomic status, geographic location, and race.

    The CARES (Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival) registry collects data on out-of-hospital cardiac arrests and tracks survival rates. It is and will continue to be an invaluable tool for understanding how different demographics, including minorities, are affected by cardiac events and how CPR and AED interventions impact outcomes. Analyzing this data helps identify disparities in access to emergency care and informs strategies to improve survival rates among minorities.   More specifically, research indicates that individuals from lower-income backgrounds are less likely to receive CPR training, leading to delayed or inadequate response during cardiac emergencies. Similarly, AED distribution tends to be concentrated in wealthier neighborhoods and public spaces, leaving underserved communities at a disadvantage during critical situations.

    Language and cultural barriers further compound healthcare disparities in CPR and AED utilization. In multicultural societies, disparities in language proficiency can hinder effective communication during emergencies, impeding timely access to life-saving interventions. Moreover, cultural beliefs and norms may influence perceptions of CPR and AED usage, leading to reluctance or fear of involvement in emergency response efforts. Addressing these disparities requires targeted educational campaigns and community outreach initiatives that prioritize cultural sensitivity and language accessibility.


    Sudden cardiac death in athletes, particularly young individuals, is a complex and multifaceted issue that demands attention from both the medical and sporting communities. While rare, the devastating consequences of SCD underscore the importance of proactive measures aimed at prevention, early detection, and appropriate management of cardiac conditions in athletes. By prioritizing education, screening, and psychosocial support, we can work towards reducing the incidence of SCD and ensuring the safety and well-being of athletes at all levels of competition.

    Community-based initiatives, coupled with partnerships between healthcare providers, community organizations, and policymakers, are essential for promoting inclusivity and ensuring that all individuals have the knowledge and resources to respond effectively to cardiac emergencies, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status.

    I+COMPRESS is such an initiative.


    Dr. Ravi Ramana, Founder

    Dr. Martin Burke

    Sara Hegarty (American Heart Association)

    Dr. Rolla Sweis


    The following companies and individuals have and continue to show significant support for the mission, purpose and action of I+COMPRESS:

    Coming soon…


    Please contact us with any questions, comments, suggestions or desire to support I+COMPRESS at