Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD)
Consider The Facts
- Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the abrupt loss of heart function in a person who may or may not have a diagnosed heart condition (arrhythmia, heart attacks).
- Death occurs within minutes of the heart stopping.
- Average survival rate of an out-of-hospital child cardiac arrest in the U.S. is 7.8%.
- 1 – 8.3 deaths per 100,000 young persons per year.
- Although sudden cardiac arrest in student athletes may be more visible, sudden cardiac death also occurs in young non-athletes.
- Because approximately 20% of a community is in its schools on any given day, including students, teachers, staff and family members, a focused effort on cardiac arrest preparedness in schools is critical to protecting our children and others in the community and beyond.
Warning Signs & Risk Factors
Often there is no prior warning sign that identifies a person at risk of SCA. Possible warning signs, when present, can include:
- Fainting or dizziness with exercise
- Excessive fatigue or shortness of breath with exercise
- Chest pain or chest discomfort with exercise
Similarly, there may be no known risk factor that identifies a person at risk of SCA:
- Family history of sudden or unexplained death in family members under 50 years old
Causes of SCD in the Young
- History of CHD repair
- Marfan syndrome
- Coronary artery anomalies
- Substance abuse
- Commotio cordis
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Long QT syndrome
- Brugada syndrome
- Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy
- Catecholamine provoked VT
- Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome