Arkansas PBS > Programs > Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of sudden death among youth athletes. It primarily targets athletes whose sport causes an elevated heart rate (football, basketball, soccer, track, etc.). While some exhibit warning signs such as fatigue and shortness of breath, for many people the first indication of a heart problem is cardiac arrest. When this occurs, coaches, athletic trainers, and administrators need to know the course of action.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest: When Seconds Count is the fourth production by ArkansasIDEAS to meet the legislative requirements for medical training for Arkansas secondary coaches. Arkansas Act 1013 of 2017 requires all coaches to receive training in sudden cardiac arrest before the beginning of the 2019-20 school year.

2019 Bronze Telly Winner for Non-Broadcast General-Sports
"It is not a matter of if it is going to happen on your campus but when. It does not have to be a student-athlete, it can be a staff member, a visitor, anyone. Regardless, you have to have a plan and the personnel/equipment in place to react prior to EMS responding." -Jason Cates

Sudden Cardiac Arrest: When Seconds Count is divided into three parts: the main video contains information on the physiology, warning signs, and protocol for dealing with a cardiac arrest; the second part features three case studies from Cabot, Batesville, and Benton with students with heart conditions; and the final part contains two scenarios demonstrating how coaches and trainers should react to a student presenting warning signs or to a student in cardiac arrest.

Experts interviewed for the project include Don Steely, MD, interventional cardiologist at Conway Regional Medical Center, Jason Cates, director of athletic training for Cabot Public Schools, Keith Shireman, athletic trainer for WRMC Pros and Batesville High School, and T.J. White, athletic trainer for Benton High School.

Filming for Sudden Cardiac Arrest: When Seconds Count took place at Cabot High School, Batesville High School, Benton High School, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and Conway Regional Medical Center.

Case Studies

  • Grant Steed
    When Grant Steed was a 9th grader at Benton High School, he went into cardiac arrest during baseball practice.
  • Gunter Garvin
    During a routine sports physical, Cabot High School footballplayer Gunter Garvin was discovered to have a heart murmur.  
  • Max Rucker
    While a 10th grader at Batesville High School, MaxRucker went into cardiac arrest during football practice.


Last Updated 22 May 2019