What Is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is not a heart attack. It’s an abnormality in the heart’s electrical system that abruptly stops the heartbeat. It's caused by an undetected congenital or genetic heart condition.
First Symptom May Be Death
Possible Warning Signs: Unexplained fainting, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, chest pain, heart palpitations, family history of SCA or unexplained sudden death under the age of 50.
1 Youth Athlete Dies Every 3 Days in the United States
SCA is 60% more likely to occur during exercise or sports activity, so student-athletes are at greater risk. SCA is also the leading cause of death on school campuses.
If not properly treated within minutes, SCA is fatal in 92% of cases.
Are there warning signs?
Although SCA happens unexpectedly, some people may have signs or symptoms, such as:
These symptoms can be unclear and confusing in student athletes. Often, people confuse these warning signs with physical exhaustion. SCA can be prevented if the underlying causes can be diagnosed and treated.