Protecting Young Athletes

Commotio cordis – Not well-known, but takes the lives of 5-25 youth athletes every year. It’s a heart rhythm disruption caused by a direct hit to the chest from an object such as a baseball, lacrosse ball or lacrosse stick. But now, there’s a solution.

Chest protector products are now available this season for youth lacrosse and baseball players that meet the NOCSAE (The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment) standard to protect against commotio cordis. This is one of the leading causes of sudden cardiac death in young athletes.

For Karen Acompora, this is a milestone in her family’s efforts to protect youth athletes from this deadly injury and honor the memory of her son, Louis J. Acompora. In 2000, Louis died from commotio cordis after a blow to his chest during his first high school lacrosse game.

NOCSAE Executive Director Mike Oliver and Karen Acompora, President of the Louis J Acompora Memorial Foundation discussed the scientific breakthrough that led to the development of this new safety standard.