Middle School student collapses during P.E.
A 13-year-old boy was airlifted to Sacramento on Thursday after collapsing during physical education class at South Tahoe Middle School.
Edgar Castaneda was in critical condition at Sutter Memorial Hospital, where he was admitted to intensive care.
The youngster’s parents, driven to the Sacramento hospital by a school nurse, reportedly told authorities that their son had a preexisting heart condition.
Castaneda was running with classmates on the middle school track shortly after 9 a.m., said Rich Alexander, assistant superintendent for the Lake Tahoe Unified School District. He reportedly complained of chest pains to other students and slowed down.
The pains apparently subsided, according to witnesses, because the boy attempted to resume running. Moments later, he reportedly collapsed.
His classmates yelled for others to call 911.
Lake Tahoe Ambulance paramedics began CPR on the patient as he lie motionless on the track. They were en route to the hospital when Castaneda regained his pulse in the ambulance.
Middle school Principal Michael Greenfield notified the student body about the situation Thursday morning on the school’s closed circuit television network.
The school psychologist, meanwhile, discussed the incident with the youngsters who witnessed the young man’s collapse, and counselors were available all day for Castaneda’s schoolmates.
“We are keeping our fingers crossed,” Alexander said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with him.”
The victim was dressed in street clothes, which is typical for sixth grade students at the middle school. Students do not suit up for P.E. until they are in seventh grade.
School policy requires youngsters who participate in after-school sports to undergo a physical examination for medical clearance. The district also requires physical examination reports for new students when they begin attending district schools.
However, no physical exam is required for participation in middle school P.E., Alexander said. Instead, parents are asked to notify school officials about ailments and conditions that may limit their children’s participation.
Prior to Thursday’s incident, school officials reportedly had no knowledge of Castaneda’s prior heart condition.
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