Cardiac Science (Bothell, Washington) and US Lacrosse, the national governing body for men’s and women’s lacrosse, reported that they have formed a strategic alliance to increase the likelihood of surviving sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) during a lacrosse game. The alliance will accomplish this by increasing the awareness and availability of Powerheart automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to US Lacrosse members and affiliated programs.

AEDs are an effective response to commotio cordis, a rare but potentially catastrophic phenomenon that can cause SCA in athletes. Commotio cordis occurs when a person receives a blunt blow to the area of the chest directly over the heart during a precise moment of the heart’s cycle, causing SCA. The blow need not be severe; in fact, commotio cordis can be caused by a relatively mild impact.

According to US Lacrosse, at least five lacrosse players are believed to have died during competition as a result of SCA caused by commotio cordis since 1999, though it has afflicted many more people in a variety of organized athletic events, recreational play and non-sports activities. The U.S. Commotio Cordis Registry has received more than 180 reported cases of commotio cordis since it began keeping records in 1996. In addition to commotio cordis, US Lacrosse notes that other serious cardiac events have struck lacrosse coaches, officials, players and fans during competition.

“Lacrosse is the fastest-growing sport in the United States,” said Steve Stenersen, executive director of US Lacrosse. “Injury research shows that lacrosse is a relatively safe sport to play, but the risk of catastrophic injury still exists, as it does in every sport. In the rare case of a commotio cordis episode, or if SCA should afflict a spectator or official, the prompt and proper use of an AED greatly increases the odds of the victim’s survival. We encourage lacrosse organizations around the country to purchase AEDs as an additional step in the quest to provide the safest possible environment for their players, coaches, officials and spectators. This proactive step has the potential to save lives.”

As a result of the partnership, Cardiac Science will provide AEDs at preferred prices to members of US Lacrosse. The company has also equipped the USL headquarters in Baltimore with an AED and is providing related training and program management services. Most importantly, the two organizations have committed to working together to achieve greater awareness of SCA and the importance of accessible defibrillation among the rapidly growing body of lacrosse players, coaches, officials and fans, nationwide.

Cardiac Science develops advanced cardiac monitoring and defibrillation products.

In other agreements news: BioElectronics (Frederick, Maryland) reported that Barron Medical (Chino Hills, California) has signed a distribution agreement to provide ActiPatch therapy to the U.S. ophthalmology market.

ActiPatch is a drug-free anti-inflammatory patch with an embedded battery-operated microchip that delivers weeks of continuous pulsed therapy for less than a dollar a day. The company said that the ActiPatch delivery system provides a cost-effective, patient-friendly method to reduce soft tissue pain and swelling.

Barron Medical is a distributor of surgical instruments, ultrasound equipment, automated refraction equipment and digital imaging systems.

BioElectronics develops new products by miniaturizing electromagnetic therapeutic applications into disposable dermal patches.