Tennessee Basketball Coaches Pat Summitt and Bruce Pearl Advocate Greater Awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest in New Public Service Announcement Campaign

Jan 04, 2010, 11:31 ET from Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association

Editor's note: The Coach Summitt/Coach Pearl public service announcement (PSA) is available for viewing at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCyz4baoIfM. Broadcast outlets that would like a copy of the PSA can contact SCAA at 202-719-8909.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association has launched a new television broadcast public service announcement (PSA) featuring University of Tennessee basketball coaches Pat Summitt and Bruce Pearl, following the recovery of Tennessee basketball player Emmanuel Negedu, who collapsed from sudden cardiac arrest during a training session in October and was revived with an automated external defibrillator (AED).

The public service announcement is available for viewing at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCyz4baoIfM.

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is an electrical disruption of the heart and is the nation's leading cause of death, killing nearly 300,000 Americans each year. Less than eight percent of SCA victims survive, and Negedu's recovery was the result of fast-thinking athletic trainers who were nearby and started cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and used an AED to restore his heart's natural rhythm. Negedu now has an implanted cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to protect him from future SCA events.

The two coaching greats use the PSA to remind viewers about the importance of knowing CPR and using an AED, as well as knowing SCA risk factors and talking to a physician about heart health. The basketball world has been widely impacted by SCA, including the deaths of Loyola Marymount player Hank Gathers, Boston Celtic Reggie Lewis, Atlanta Hawk Jason Collier, Army women's coach Maggie Dixon and Wake Forest men's coach Skip Prosser. In 2007, Washington State University women's coach June Daugherty survived SCA when she, like Negedu, was revived with the use of an AED.

"The willingness of Coach Summitt, Coach Pearl, the Tennessee athletic department and Emmanuel Negedu to speak out about sudden cardiac arrest is a valuable public awareness tool as we work to save lives," said Chris Chiames, executive director of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association. "The stature of the Tennessee basketball programs is further enhanced by their collective willingness to talk to the public about a major public health issue."

  • About Pat Summitt: Pat Summitt is recognized as the greatest women's basketball coach of all time with the most wins of any head coach -- men's or women's -- in NCAA history. She has led the Lady Volunteers to eight national championships.
  • About Bruce Pearl: Bruce Pearl is in his fifth season leading the Tennessee Volunteers and has presided over the programs most successful period in its history, including three SEC championships and its first Number One national ranking.
  • About Emmanuel Negedu: Emmanuel Negedu is a sophomore at the University of Tennessee. As a freshman, he played in 33 of 34 games and was named to the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll.
  • About the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association: SCAA is the nation's leading public advocacy organization exclusively dedicated to sudden cardiac arrest awareness and prevention. For more information, please visit www.suddencardiacarrest.org.

SOURCE Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association