What is SCA?
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is what happens when the heart stops beating suddenly and unexpectedly. When a doctor states that a patient has “gone into Sudden Cardiac Arrest”, it means that, out of nowhere, the patient’s heart has stopped pumping blood.
The conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest and death fall into two categories: structural and electrical. A structural heart defect, like cardiomyopathy, prevents the heart from working properly – it’s too big or the parts are in the wrong places. An electrical heart defect, like Long QT Syndrome, interrupts the heart’s rhythm.
Many people think that SCA is an adult thing, but that’s just not true. SCA is the #1 killer of student athletes. It is also responsible for up to 15% of all sudden infant deaths.
The good news is that most of these conditions are detectable and treatable.