Cardiac arrest top killer for student athletes

Aug 1, 2023, 7:00 PM

One week after his heart stopped during football practice, Utah State University freshman wide rece...

One week after his heart stopped during football practice, Utah State University freshman wide receiver Josh Davis is giving thanks to the trainers who kept him alive. (Utah State University)

(Utah State University)

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah State University student athlete said life-saving measures saved his life after he had a heart attack on the field. 

Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in young athletes. Estimates vary, but some reports suggest that about 1-in-50,000 to 1-in-80,000 young athletes die of sudden cardiac death each year. For comparison, the incidence of sudden cardiac arrest in the general population is about 1-in-1,000 people yearly, according to Mayo Clinic Health System.

Recently, USC Trojans freshman Bronny James, 18, son of Lakers star LeBron James, suffered cardiac arrest during a team workout.

During a Monday Night Football game on Jan. 2, 2023, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin also suffered cardiac arrest after a tackle.

“And then he got up and just went right back down to the ground,” said announcer Joe Buck during the moment Hamlin collapsed.

CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and an AED (automated external defibrillator) were given to Hamlin before he was transported to a local hospital in critical condition.

In March, Utah State Aggie football player Josh Davis was struck by a cardiac arrest and collapsed at  practice. Davis was told by doctors that CPR “110 percent saved his life.”

Josh Davis: CPR By Utah State Football Staff ‘Saved My Life’

Football career ends suddenly

Dave & Dujanovic speak with Davis about his experience and what he learned from it.

Davis said it took about two months for him to get back to his normal physical routine.

“So I kind of took that month or two to work slowly and kind of recovering my body and just starting to get back to what I could do normally,” he said.

“Is there something that caused [your heart] to stop or do you know, Josh?” Debbie asked.

Davis said while he was in the hospital he had tests performed and plans to meet with cardiac specialists but there is no clear cause yet identified.

“As far as right now, it was kind of just an anomaly and [I am] not really too sure exactly,” he said.

“Have you made a decision on what you’re going to do with your athletic career?” Dave asked.

Davis said his doctors advised him to stop playing football because a sudden impact could cause another heart attack.

“How are you doing with that?” Dave asked.

“It’s been tough, especially kind of first hearing that news, and me just kind of getting into my college football career,” Davis said. “But I’m planning on still being with the team this year and helping them out in any different way I can, so I think that’s gonna help a lot.”

Read more

Back-to-school temperatures above average, says NWS


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


FILE: Stacie Hale plays with her son Theodor at home in Smithfield. Stacie hoped to get aid from WI...

Lindsay Aerts

Government shutdown could disrupt Utahns using WIC benefits

But Utah health officials say they're working to assure that the benefits for Utah mothers and children will not run out.

17 hours ago

Wasatch County Sheriff's Office...

Simone Seikaly

Mother charged with aggravated murder after disappearance of infant

Police said the mother 18-year-old Estrella Meza Ojeda, withheld supplemental oxygen that her infant son needed to survive.

21 hours ago

Eating high-calorie foods regularly can make it a challenge to lose weight — even if you spend mo...

Jocelyn Solis-Moreira

What happens if you exercise but don’t eat well?

Exercise cannot completely reverse the effects of a bad diet, experts say.

1 day ago

Close up of a woman using her smartphone indoors. (Getty Images)...

Mariah Maynes

Blue light blocking glasses not reccomended by AAO

Blue light-filtering glasses not recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology due to lack of scientific evidence.

2 days ago


Michelle Lee

The ultimate travel preparation checklist

Let’s Get Moving Host Maria Shilaos spoke with Claire Newell, Founder of Travel Best Bets, to learn some of her travel preparation tips.

3 days ago

SALT LAKE CITY -- Inmates in one housing unit at the Utah State Correctional Facility were quaranti...

Dan Bammes

Housing unit quarantined after scabies outbreak at state correctional facility

57 inmates were affected after a breakout of scabies in a housing unit at the Utah State Correctional Facility.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

Cardiac arrest top killer for student athletes