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South Jersey Baseball:
Local Radio Host Donates Life-Saving Device to Glassboro Park & Recreation

Monday, September 22, 2003

By Patrick Williams
SJSports Special Correspondent

It’s a neon yellow boxy device – weighing a few ticks under seven pounds -- but for a ballplayer who just took a line drive to the chest, the equipment can be a lifesaver.

A baseball striking the chest on a line drive back to the mound at a velocity as low as 30 miles per hour can wreak severe damage on the chest and heart. Among the potential effects of a baseball to the chest is the disruption of the electrical conduction of the heart, which will send the body into cardiac arrest.

Take a line drive to the chest and death is possible, if not probable. Eighty-four percent of people die if left untreated, according to a March 2002 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

These aren’t out of shape, weekend dads trying to recapture their youth---the average age of victims was 13.6 years.

The study used data obtained from the U.S. Commotio Cordis (Blunt Chest Trauma) Registry.

Of the one hundred and twenty-eight cases reported, 62% occurring during organized sporting events, such as baseball. The remainder of cases occurred as part of daily routine and recreational activities.

Dr. Barry J. Maron, primary author of the article, reported that the individuals who survived had prompt cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation.

Death strikes quickly – within 4 to 6 minutes on average, far too little time for emergency personnel to arrive on the scene.

That’s where – and why -- this contraption, also known as the Automated External Defibrillator (AED), comes into play.

When a baseball has interrupted the body’s electrical conduction, an AED can kick the heart back into action by delivering an electrical charge to the body of a downed player.

And the AED is quite simple to use, actually.

Attaching the AED’s two electrode patches to the chest of an injured player will trigger a flashing green light on the AED device. From there, the AED takes charge, confirming for the user that the victim’s heart is in cardiac arrest and then automatically generates a predetermined supply of electrical energy that is delivered to the heart by way of the device.

WNJC 1360-AM radio host David W. Unkle was on hand at Campbell’s Field before a September 3rd Atlantic League matchup between the Camden Riversharks and the Bridgeport Bluefish to present an AED to the Glassboro (N.J.) Park and Recreation organization, courtesy of CardioReady®.

“The Topcat Sports Show is committed to providing tangible, long-term support to our listeners in the Delaware Valley, said Unkle.

“With the 2004 launch of an annual celebrity golf tournament for multiple sclerosis and our promotion of this month’s WALK NOW for autism, we’re doing more than the traditional radio show.”

An AED is no mere trinket like the typical promotional items handed out at the ballpark – the device can run a cool $3,500.

And the device was not the only thing that the Glassboro organization took away from the ballpark. Specialized training on the use of the device to go with lifetime maintenance of the equipment was included with the package, through CardioReady® Cardiac Emergency Readiness Program.

“It’s one thing to have an AED; it’s another to have on-going training and support,” said Kerry Hickock of CardioReady®.

Especially when it means saving the life of a child.

For more information:

CardioReady® is a national provider of cardiac emergency preparedness programs headquartered in Pennsylvania. For more information about CardioReady®, call 1.866.SHOCK or visit the Web site at

ZOLL Medical Corporation, headquartered in Burlington, Mass., designs, manufactures and markets an integrated line of proprietary, non-invasive resuscitation devices and disposable electrodes. For more information about ZOLL and its products, visit the Web site at

Photos by Pedro Cancel

©2003 South Jersey Sports Online Inc.