USA Rugby

Emergency University Trains USA Men's Olympic Rugby Team in Life-Saving Emergency Response Skills

USA Men's Eagles Sevens Strengthens Team Bonds While Learning How to Recognize Signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest, Perform CPR, Apply AEDs

February 10, 2016 - Redwood City, Calif. - /PRNewswire-iReach - The USA Men's Eagles Sevens Rugby Team recently engaged Emergency University to provide CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and AED (automated external defibrillation) training to 20 of its team members. Conducted by Emergency University Director of Training Frank Poliafico, RN at the USA Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., the athletes learned how to recognize the symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and the actions needed to help save the life of SCA victims.

The USA Men's Eagles Sevens Rugby Team is training to participate in the upcoming 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Head Athletic Trainer Dr. Brian Green PhD, MSPT, ATC, CSCS said, "Emergency University created a great environment for our players to positively engage with each other while learning a fundamental life skill. Many of the athletes were still talking about the experience days after the training. This was an important component of our team’s mission to cultivate a culture that improves connectedness. It also demonstrates our resolve to always put safety first."

At the International Olympic Committee World Conference on Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport, Dr. Irfan M. Asif, MD, Director of the Sports Medicine Fellowship Program within the Greenville Health System/University of South Carolina Greenville School of Medicine, said, "Sudden cardiac death is the leading cause of death on the playing field."

These premature deaths are caused by a variety of factors, including genetic heart abnormalities and chest trauma. Dr. Odelia Braun, medical director at Emergency University, said, "On the playing field, any non-contact collapse should be recognized and treated as a potential cardiac arrest. Regardless of the cause, when athletes are trained to recognize SCA and immediately respond with CPR and the attachment of an AED, the chance of survival increases dramatically. In fact, 95 percent of victims who receive CPR and a shock within the first minute of SCA survive."

According to recent research, approximately 1,000 people die of SCA every day in the U.S. outside the hospital. Only two percent of SCA victims receive the benefit of bystander CPR and the attachment of an AED. Despite an increased number of AEDs available in both public places and in the workplace, the SCA survival rate has not increased significantly in more than three decades. When effective onsite emergency response systems are in place, SCA victims have the best chance to return to a normal productive life.

The 2016 Olympics marks the first time Rugby will be added as a competitive event for teams from 12 countries. The USA Men’s Sevens Rugby Team is not only training to bring home the gold for the United States, they are now also trained to give an SCA victim a second chance at life.

About USOC Sports Medicine

The US Olympic Committee operates Olympic Training Centers in Colorado Springs, Colo., Chula Vista, Calif. and Lake Placid, N.Y. The USOC Sports Medicine staff is comprised of physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists and athletic trainers who are responsible for the delivery of health care to athletes participating in U.S. Olympic Training Center programs. Care includes multi-disciplinary approaches to prevention, evaluation, management, treatment and rehabilitation of athletic injuries and illnesses.

About Emergency University

Emergency University assists corporations and government agencies in the design and implementation of life-saving internal emergency response systems - including comprehensive preparedness training, SCA (AED) response programs and early notification technologies. In 1989, Emergency University staff tripled SCA survival in San Francisco when they designed, launched, and tested the first large urban AED program in the US for non‐healthcare professionals. At the Emergency Cardiac Care Update 2015, Emergency University presented research on the results of their PAD program study with the FAA – the largest system in the nation. This program has achieved an unprecedented 100% SCA response rate and a 75% survival rate for witnessed cardiac arrest. In addition to government agencies, Emergency University provides global emergency response system implementation and training to major corporations including LinkedIn, Cisco, Twitter, DocuSign, and Zynga, as well as Levi-Strauss, CSX Transportation, Procter & Gamble, and Norfolk Southern. More information is available at +1-650-365-3310, email or at

Media Contact:
c3PR: Mar Junge 408-219-0101
Emergency University: T. Farina - +1-650-365-3310 or