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CPR Saves Fallen Pickleball Player

News Stacie Townsend 07-22-2020

Emergencies can happen anywhere, including, unfortunately, on a pickleball court.

One such emergency situation came to life on June 11, 2020, in Lakeville, Minnesota, when a pickleball player, Keven Saunders, suddenly experienced a cardiac arrest on the pickleball court. The pickleball player closest to Keven on the court, Joe Castle, immediately sprung into action and began administering CPR for approximately 5 minutes. The heart surgeon who later operated on Keven noted that if Joe was not there to perform CPR on the pickleball court, Keven would likely not be alive today.

CPR (which stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is an important life skill and is a technique used when someone stops breathing or someone’s heart stops beating. CPR training is invaluable, as the American Heart Association claims that effective CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or even triple a person’s chance of survival. Further, CPR is an especially valuable skill on the pickleball courts, as many pickleball courts – like the ones in Lakeville, Minnesota – do not have an AED readily available (AED stands for automated external defibrillator and is a portable device used to assess a person’s heart rhythms and deliver an electrical shock to the heart as needed). 

Despite the need for a quick response to sudden cardiac arrest (and the fact that most sudden cardiac arrests in and around the home and many victims seem healthy and do not have heart disease or any other risk factor), the American Heart Association says that up to 70% of Americans feel helpless to act because they either don’t know how to administer CPR or they feel that they are out of training. However, thankfully for Keven, fellow-pickleball-player Joe Castle was not so helpless, but rather confident and immediately took action.

CPR is not only an important life skill, but an important skill on the pickleball court. Are you CPR or AED certified? Have you been involved in a medical emergency on the pickleball court? Share with us in the comments below!

To learn more on how to get CPR certified, visit:


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