A softball game between two high schools in Mason City, Iowa almost turned into a terrible incident. A player named Seth Abate was up to bat, and he was struck in the chest by a softball. At first, it seemed like a routine fly ball. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

Medical Professional Stationed at the Game Saves Player’s Life

As Abate immediately fell to the ground, his parents, who were watching from the stands, rushed onto the field to check on him. At the same time, an on-duty nurse who was watching the game stepped up and saved the player’s life. The nurse, Megan Siefkas, happened to be stationed near the field at a medical tent with her husband and her medical bag. The bag contained a defibrillator, oxygen, and other first-aid supplies.

Nurse Takes Quick Action

As soon as Siefkas saw that Abate was struggling to breathe and had turned pale, she knew it was a serious situation and didn’t hesitate to act. She immediately began chest compressions and asked someone to retrieve her medical bag. She hooked Abate up to an oxygen mask and monitored his vital signs while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. She also made sure that the spectators cleared the area and gave him space to breathe.

Survival and Treatment

Fortunately, Abate survived the incident, although it was a very close call. He was taken to a hospital where he received treatment for commotio cordis. This is a rare but serious condition that occurs when a blunt object hits the chest and interrupts the heart’s rhythm. Without urgent treatment, it can be fatal.

Risks of Playing Sports

According to the American Heart Association, commotio cordis is responsible for 20 percent of all traumatic deaths in athletes under 18. It is more common in sports like baseball and hockey where athletes have a higher risk of getting hit by balls or pucks in the chest.

Gratitude and Praise

Abate expressed his gratitude towards Siefkas and said that he was lucky to have had her nearby. He described the experience as “scary,” but said that he was recovering well. His parents also praised Siefkas for her heroic actions and thanked her for being there when their son needed her.

Importance of Medical Personnel at Sporting Events

The incident highlights the importance of having medical professionals available at sporting events, especially those involving high school students. It also serves as a reminder to spectators to be aware of their surroundings and know where the nearest medical tent is located. In this case, the nurse’s presence and quick response were critical in preventing a tragedy and demonstrating the value of having skilled medical personnel at these games.

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