March 18 - Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)

Matters of the Heart: What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest and How Do AEDs Save Lives?

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)?

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of death in young athletes. It occurs suddenly and without warning when the heart abruptly stops. Blood ceases to flow to the brain and other vital organs, causing immediate loss of consciousness or seizure-like activity.  If not treated within the first few minutes, SCA results in death.

Approximately one case of sudden cardiac death occurs every three days in organized youth sports, resulting in an estimated 3,000 to 7,000 deaths of school-aged children who have shown no prior signs of cardiac illness or symptoms.Sudden cardiac arrest is NOT a heart attack. With a heart attack, the heart usually does not suddenly stop beating, although a heart attack can lead to SCA.

To see and print a great handout on sudden cardiac arrest visit:  http://www.atsnj.org/documents/pdf/ATSNJ_Cardiac_AED.pdf