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October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month

October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month!

With 1 in 300 youth having a heart condition that puts them at risk for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), which is the number one killer of student athletes  and the leading cause of death on school campuses, getting educated is paramount in saving young lives.


What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)?

 Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating, cutting off blood flow to the brain and other vital organs. SCA is fatal if not treated immediately. 

Are there any warning signs?

  • Fainting or dizziness during or right after exercise
  • Excessive fatigue or shortness of breath with exercise
  • Chest pain or discomfort with exercise
  • It is possible to have an SCA even if there are no known risk factors and no early warning signs.

What can anyone do to help someone who suddenly collapses and may be having a SCA?

There are five crucial links:

Early recognition of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)

  • Collapsed and unresponsive
  • Gasping, gurgling, snorting, moaning or labored breathing
  • Seizure-like activity

Early Access to 911

  • Confirm unresponsiveness
  • Call 9-1-1 and follow emergency dispatcher’s instructions
  • Call any on-site emergency responders

Early CPR

  • Begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately

Early Defibrillation

  • Immediately retrieve and use an AED as soon as possible to restore the heart to its normal rhythm

Early Advanced Care

  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responders begin advanced life support and transfer to a hospital

 Survival rates decrease by 10% with each minute of delayed defibrillation. The chain of survival is designed to minimize the time between arrest and defibrillation and increase survival.

Learn more about Sudden Cardiac Arrest with these links:

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