Grand Rapids boy, 12, dies after collapsing on basketball court


A seventh-grader playing basketball at a central Minnesota middle school collapsed on the court Thursday afternoon and later died at a local hospital.

The Grand Rapids Herald-Review reports 12-year-old Breck Liestman went into cardiac arrest about 4:30 p.m. during warm-ups before a boys basketball game at Forestview Middle School in Baxter.

Breck was a student at Robert J. Elkington Middle School in Grand Rapids.

A physician in the crowd, along with emergency responders, attempted life-saving measures before the boy was transported to Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center, where he died a short time later, according to the Brainerd Dispatch.

An autopsy will determine the exact cause of death.

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation says about 300,000 people die from sudden cardiac arrest in the United States each year. At least 6,000 of those deaths involve children, who are most often stricken at school or playing sports.

It's unclear whether the school is equipped with an automated external defibrillator, or AED. Minnesota state law will require every public school building to have an AED by Jan. 1, 2014.

If CPR and defibrillation are performed on cardiac arrest victims within eight minutes of collapse, they stand a 20 percent chance of survival.

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