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Cardiovascular disease is the second leading medical cause of death in children and adolescents in the U.S.

In the U.S. alone, at least one adolescent or young adult dies every 2.5 days from an unrecognized heart disorder.

Data estimates that 1 in 50 high schools has a SCA incident on school grounds each year.

In That Moment

  • The chance of survival decreases by 10% every minute after collapse
  • The average EMS response time is 6-8 minutes
  • The single greatest factor affecting survival is the time from cardiac arrest to defibrillation (shock)
  • AEDs improve survival through early defibrillation

What should you do?

  • Recognize Sudden Cardiac Arrest
  • Begin chest compressions (CPR)
  • Retrieve the AED
  • Apply and use the AED as soon as possible
  • Continue CPR until EMS arrives

Recognizing SCA

  • SCA should be suspected in any athlete who is collapsed and unresponsive
  • SCA should be suspected in any non-traumatic collapse
  • Brief seizure-like activity is common after collapse from SCA
  • Seizure = SCA until proven otherwise
  • Occasional gasping is not normal breathing… think SCA


  • Talk to your pediatrician or primary care physician about SCA, especially if there is a family history of sudden death prior to age 40.
  • Schedule a screening, including a thorough medical history, family history and physical examination, and engage further evaluation, which may include an EKG or echocardiogram, to help detect any heart condition in your child or young adult.
  • Ask the school’s Athletic Director about their AED accessibility and readiness process.

Copyright 2016 Cameron's Cause Foundation.