Dr. Tom Bowman hopes his latest research will help athletic trainers know the best techniques for CPR on the lacrosse field.
While it is not an everyday occurrence, when an athlete does experience cardiac arrest on the field, it is crucial for athletic trainers to know the best way to perform CPR. “It is fairly rare, but its consequences are really high,” Dr. Bowman said. “It’s life or death.”
Dr. Bowman collaborated with Dr. R.J. Boergers at Seton Hall University to examine whether a lacrosse helmet and shoulder pads hamper the delivery of CPR. They used a $57,500 grant from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Research and Education Foundation to conduct a full research study.
They had teams of people trained in CPR to perform the procedure on computerized manikins, which recorded data about the depth and speed of chest compressions and the volume of air delivered to the lungs through rescue breathing. Eight teams of two people participated in the study at LC while others collected data at Seaton Hall.
In some trials, the CPR manikins wore lacrosse protective gear.
The full results of the study will not be available until 2017, but preliminary data taken before the grant was received indicated that lacrosse helmets do impede rescue breathing but that the King Airway, one of the interventions tested, provides an effective solution, Dr. Bowman said. The preliminary data also showed that shoulder pads seemed to not detract from the depth of chest compressions.
Dr. Bowman will share some insights from the research in a learning lab during the NATA Clinical Symposia and AT Expo this week. Seven of his students also will attend the conference to present their research about head impacts in college lacrosse and soccer. One of those students, Katelyn Nelson ’16, has been selected as one of four finalists for the Undergraduate Poster Award at the conference.