What Causes Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Athletes

What Causes Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Athletes

June 8, 2021

You often hear stories about prominent young athletes collapsing on the field or the court. It is shocking news to everyone when a young athlete dies from sudden cardiac arrest. But what causes sudden cardiac arrest in athletes? They’re young and in great shape. How can they possibly have something wrong with their heart? 

According to Parent Heart Watch, sudden cardiac arrest is not rare. It takes the lives of 365,000 people annually. It affects people of all ages, races, ethnicities, and genders. Sudden cardiac arrest is the number one killer of student athletes and the leading cause of death on school campuses. Up to 23,000 youth are stricken annually by sudden cardiac arrest and more than 90% of sudden cardiac arrest victims die. 

Often times, when a young person suffers sudden cardiac arrest, it is because of an undetected heart condition. Approximately one in three hundred youth have an undetected heart condition that can put them at risk. 


Some of those heart conditions include:

• Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
• Long QT Syndrome
• Coronary Artery Anomalies 
• Idiopathic Left Ventricular Hypertrophy 
• Wolff-Parkinson-White 


Here are some reasons you should get your child’s heart tested:

• Fainting or seizure 
• Chest pain or discomfort during or after exertion
• Racing heartbeat
• Unusual shortness of breath
• Dizziness or lightheadedness during or after physical activity 
• Unusual fatigue or tiredness
• Family history of heart disease 
• Family history of unexpected death 
• Unexplained death of family member under the age of 50

So, what do you do if you witness someone go into sudden cardiac arrest? How do you help them? 


If you suspect someone is suffering from sudden cardiac arrest, take the following steps:

• Call 9-1-1
Immediately start performing CPR (100-120 chest compressions per minute)

• Use an AED as soon as possible.


It is very important to act immediately if someone is suffering sudden cardiac arrest. Every second that goes by without treatment hurts the person’s chances of survival. 

To learn more about Defibtech and to join us on our quest to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest, visit www.Defibtech.com.

Sources:
https://parentheartwatch.org/resources/what-is-sca/

https://parentheartwatch.org/resources/sca-prevention/warning-signs-risk-factors/