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Facts About Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)

  • 20 children between the ages of 6 & 25 will die today from sudden cardiac arrest caused by a cardiac arrhythmia syndrome. (1)
  • Each year 7,000 young Americans ages 6-18 die from SCA. (1)
  • Two thirds of SCA deaths occur in people without any prior indications of heart disease. (2)
  • The sensitivity of an ECG/EKG for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) capable of causing sudden unexpected death in adolescents is 95%. (3)
  • In 80% of cases the first symptom is the fatal collapse.
  • Sudden Unexpected Death is three times more prevalent in young athletes than non-athletes.
  • African Americans are more likely to have a SCA than Caucasians and have less than a 1 percent chance of surviving, versus a 5 percent chance in the general population.
  • A defibrillator must be used within 4 minutes of someone having a coronary episode in order to save their life. For every minute that passes without defibrillation, a person’s chances of survival decrease by 10%.

References:

(1) Heart Rhythm Society, www.hrsonline.org

(2) National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, www.nhlbi.nih.gov

(3) Fuller, C.M., MD. “Physical examinations for young athletes,” Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, March 2005