What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA?)
-SCA is a condition in which the electrical system of the heart malfunctions, resulting in a disruption of the heart’s normal rhythm and the loss of its ability to deliver blood to the body. When untreated, this results in sudden death.
-SCA is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes during sports participation and typically the result of an undiagnosed structural or electrical cardiovascular pathology.
-SCA is not a heart attack. But, a heart attack can lead to SCA.
Who is at risk for SCA and what causes SCA?
-SCA can strike persons of any age, gender or race, including those that seem in good health and at peak physical fitness.
-An asymptomatic young person with undetected heart condition who appears very healthy.
-Anyone with a history of cardiovascular disease in their family.
-A sudden blow to the chest when the heart is electrically recharging (between heartbeats) can trigger SCA. The injury is called Commotio Cordis.
How to Avoid & Treat SCA:
-Heart Screening – Painless and highly efficacious methods of heart screening diagnose what a stethoscope never could. An electrocardiogram (ECG) quickly determines how fast the heart is beating, whether the rhythm of the heart is steady or irregular and the strength and timing of electrical signals as they pass through each part of the heart. Echocardiograms are sonograms of the anatomy of the heart.
-Accessible, immediate use of AED – Defibrillation is the only effective treatment along with CPR – Cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Know the Warning Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Condition:
-Fainting (syncope) or seizure during or after physical activity or from emotional excitement, emotional distress or startle;
-Chest pain or discomfort/racing heartbeat;
-Unusual shortness of breath;
-Dizziness/lightheadedness during or after physical activity;
-Family history of heart disease
-Family history or unexpected sudden death during physical activity or during a seizure, or any other unexplained sudden death of an otherwise healthy family member under the age of 50.