In a study made public today, the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that sudden deaths due to chest trauma (getting hammered with a ball, stick, puck, opponent's forearm, and so on) are more common in lacrosse than any sport except hockey.
More common as opposed to common. Over 28 years, the study revealed just 23 deaths or cardiac arrests in male athletes in high school and college lacrosse programs. Not an epidemic. Still, this will doubtless get the attention of lacrosse parents, scholastic sports associations, U.S. Lacrosse.
Researchers analyzed data about stricken lacrosse players from 1980-2008 and learned the following:
-Ten died after receiving blunt chest blows, including four goalies wearing chest protectors.
-Twelve other students collapsed because of pre-existing cardiovascular disease.
The authors recommend - sensibly - that better chest protectors be developed to protect players from freak accidents.