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Frostburg Rangers - AYSO Region 1090

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Sep, 2021

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Information

Definition:  Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a potentially fatal condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating.  When this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. 

SCA in student athletes is rare; the chance of SCA occurring to any individual student athlete is about one in 100,000.  However, student athletes’ risk of SCA is nearly four times that of non-athletes due to the increased demands on the heart during exercise.

Causes:  SCA is caused by several structural and electrical diseases of the heart.  These conditions predispose an individual to have an abnormal rhythm that can be fatal if not treated within a few minutes.  Most conditions responsible for SCA in children are inherited, which means the tendency to have these conditions is passed from parents to children through the genes.  Other possible causes of SCA are a sudden blunt non-penetrating blow to the chest and the use of recreational or performance-enhancing drugs and/or energy drinks.

Warning Signs of SCA
 SCA strikes immediately.
 SCA should be suspected in any athlete who has
collapsed and is unresponsive.
o No response to tapping on shoulders
o Does nothing when asked if he/she is OK
 No pulse

Emergency Response to SCA
 Act immediately; time is most critical to increase
survival rates.
 Recognize SCA.
 Call 911 immediately and activate EMS.
 Administer CPR.
 Use Automatic External Defibrillator (AED).

Warning signs of potential heart issues:  The following need to be further evaluated by your primary care
 Family history of heart disease/cardiac arrest
 Fainting, a seizure, or convulsions during physical activity
 Fainting or a seizure from emotional excitement, emotional distress, or being startled
 Dizziness or lightheadedness, especially during exertion
 Exercise-induced chest pain
 Palpitations: awareness of the heart beating, especially if associated with other symptoms such as dizziness
 Extreme tiredness or shortness of breath associated with exercise
 History of high blood pressure

Risk of Inaction:  Ignoring such symptoms and continuing to play could be catastrophic and result in sudden
cardiac death. Taking these warning symptoms seriously and seeking timely appropriate medical care can
prevent serious and possibly fatal consequences. 

Information Sheet for Parents and Student Athletes:

More information about SCA can be found on AYSO's website at:

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Frostburg Rangers - AYSO Region 1090

Parris N. Glendening Recreation Complex, Espy Avenue
Frostburg, Maryland 21532

Email Us: [email protected]
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