Attempts to prevent “tongue swallowing” may well be the main obstacle for successful bystander resuscitation of athletes with cardiac arrest

Published:September 19, 2017DOI:
      On March 3, 1990, Hank Gathers collapsed with cardiac arrest in the middle of a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I basketball game and passed away. His death stirred extensive discussions as to the cause of his death and the possibility of preventing it. The ensuing litigation process was closely followed by articles in leading medical journals, which also focused on the ethical aspects of medical screening of athletes.
      • Maron B.J.
      Sudden death in young athletes: lessons from the Hank Gathers affair.
      These questions notwithstanding, the sequence of the events taking place during that basketball game, as caught on television, shows another way that could have prevented this tragic death: A 2:41-minute video accessible on YouTube clearly shows the bewildering and undisputable fact that for 2 entire minutes after his collapse, Hank Gathers received no form of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).


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