Expert Aims to Prevent Sudden Death in Sport

INDIANAPOLIS – A groundbreaking text released last month is among the first to examine the etiology, prevention, recognition, treatment and return-to-play protocol of the common causes of sudden death in sport. In doing so, Preventing Sudden Death in Sport and Physical Activity has earned the official endorsement of the American College of Sports Medicine.

“This book is the culmination of the efforts of more than 30 of the most respected sports medicine professionals and scientists in the world related to preventing sudden death in sports,” said editor Douglas Casa, Ph.D. “It is another chance to recognize my gift of survival and pay it forward with information about the top ten causes of death in sport that can create more survival stories. I have experienced a wide array of emotions in my life, but no feeling is greater than playing a role in saving a life.”

In 1985, Casa suffered an exertional heat stroke while running a 10K race. This experience has motivated his work in the study of exertional heat stroke, heat illnesses, hydration and preventing sudden death in sport. Casa’s ultimate goal is to find ways to prevent needless tragedy during sport and physical activity.

Sudden death on the field is a growing concern in sport and physical activity. This text arms sports medicine professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to make the correct decision when confronted with an emergency situation.

Highlights of the book include:

    * Cardiac conditions are separated into three chapters to give greater attention to the multiple potential etiologies related to cardiac causes.
    * For the first time in a sports medicine textbook, exertional sickling is offered as a stand-alone chapter.
    * Eleven of the top causes of death in sport are addressed in individual chapters — heart disease, congenital cardiac conditions, commotio cordis, exertional heat stroke, exertional hyponatremia, head injuries, cervical spine injuries, lightning, asthma, exertional sickling (associated with sickle cell trait) and traumatic injuries.
    * Additionally, another chapter covers anaphylaxis, cold, diabetes and other issues in wilderness medicine situations.
    * Supporting chapters focus on issues that can influence changes in the infrastructure to prevent sudden death during sport and physical activity.

View a complete table of contents at

For the past 11 years, Casa has worked toward his goal of preventing sudden death in sport at the Department of Kinesiology, Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut. He has published more than 110 peer-reviewed publications and presented more than 300 times on subjects related to exertional heat stroke, heat-related illnesses, hydration and preventing sudden death in sport. Casa has treated more than 130 cases of exertional heat stroke with zero fatalities. In October 2010, the Department of Kinesiology doctoral program at the University of Connecticut was ranked first in the country by the National Academy of Kinesiology.

Preventing Sudden Death in Sport and Physical Activity is available for $83.95 through the Jones & Bartlett website or by calling 800-832-0034. Members of the media interested in ordering a review copy of the book, scheduling an author interview or requesting an excerpt may contact Jody Sullivan, associate marketing manager at Jones & Bartlett Learning, at (978) 579-8396 or [email protected]


Douglas J. Casa, Ph.D., ATC, FACSM, FNATA, is the 2008 recipient of the medal for distinguished athletic training research from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA). He was named a Fellow of the NATA in 2008. He received the Sayers “Bud” Miller Distinguished Educator Award from the NATA in 2007 and has been a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) since 2001. He has been a lead or co-author on numerous sports medicine position statements related to heat illness and hydration. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Athletic Training, and he serves on the editorial boards of Current Sports Medicine Reports, Journal of Sport Rehabilitation and the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Casa has worked with numerous media outlets across the country discussing his research, including the NBC Today Show, ESPN, CNN, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 40,000 international, national and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.

Jones & Bartlett Learning, a division of Ascend Learning, is a world-leading provider of instructional, assessment and learning-performance management solutions for the secondary, post-secondary and professional markets. Jones & Bartlett Learning endeavors to develop educational programs and services that improve learning outcomes and enhance student achievement by uniquely combining authoritative content written by respected authors with innovative, proven and engaging technology applications that meet the diverse needs of today’s instructors, students and professionals. More information is available at

Ashley Crockett-Lohr, ACSM, (317) 637-9200, ext. 133 ([email protected])
Jody Sullivan, Jones & Bartlett Learning, (978) 579-8396 ([email protected])