David Silverstein saved a life

David Silverstein has been an Athletic Trainer for 12 years and has yet to need his CPR skills. That all changed in an instant as his actions helped “Z” survive long enough for the EMS to arrive and take over.

David, you just recently saved a life.  Tell us the story.

  1. SCA leading cause of death in exercising athletes typically caused by underlying structural or electrical conditions. 
  2. 75% of deaths occur in football, basketball and soccer. Male and African Americans are at highest risk. Survival declines 10% each minute waiting for defibrillation. 
  3. Early defibrillator increases survival chances by 80%
  4. Eyes rolled back, brief seizure-like activity and agonal breathing was distracting and those were all the signs pointed out in the video.   
  5. Differentiated from EHS or sickle cell in that SCA is sudden without signs of struggling or exhaustion
  6. Any athlete who has collapsed and is unresponsive should be assumed to be in SCA until proven otherwise or another cause of the collapse clearly is identified.

What is your prior experience using CPR?

None other than teaching and getting certified.

I first took the class when I was in undergrad.

Tell us some more of your Athletic Trainer Story.

Graduated from MSU during the internship era. GA @ CCF

Got out of Athletic Training and came back to it after 5 years. Served mostly in high school settings but working at a DC office now while doing a lot of PRN coverage.

How did you process the situation afterward?

Didn’t want to be there

Replayed events in my head to see if I performed up to par

What are you going to change because of this event?


1E. Every school or organization that sponsors athletics should develop an EAP specifically for managing serious

and/or potentially life-threatening sport-related injuries (athletic EAP)

2E. The athletic EAP should be developed and coordinated with local EMS, school public safety officials, on-site

medical personnel or school medical staff, and school administrators

3E. Every school should distribute the athletic EAP to all athletic staff members

4E. The athletic EAP should be specific to each venue (including maps, directions, etc)

5E. On-site emergency equipment that may be needed in an emergency situation should be listed

6E. The athletic EAP should identify personnel and their responsibilities to carry out the plan of action with a

designated chain of command

7E. Appropriate contact information for EMS

8E. The athletic EAP should specify documentation actions that need to be taken after an emergency 

9E. The athletic EAP should be reviewed and rehearsed annually by all parties involved

10E. Health care professionals who will provide medical coverage during games, practices, or other events should be included

Call to action:

Drill EAPs more often


AT Cares

More consistent hours at Shaw

Resources from David Silverstein:


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