Two Teens And Their Mama: Teens and Cardiac Arrest

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Teens and Cardiac Arrest


Those words shouldn't be in the same sentence.  

Unfortunately, sudden heart failure is the leading cause of death in teen athletes.  It's estimated that a young athlete suffers cardiac arrest every three days in the U.S.

Sudden cardiac arrest usually occurs during or right after exercise and there are no warning symptoms.  The heart stops pumping adequately and the child loses consciousness.  Unless a normal heart rhythm can be restored quickly, death will follow.

Scary stuff.  Tragically, these deaths are preventable in most cases.  A simple heart health screening, which involves a medical history and an ECG, will detect most cardiac abnormalities.  If there is an issue, it can be addressed before it turns deadly.

Both of my boys are athletes, but I had no idea about this until a young man in our community died  suddenly after a football game.  His mother formed The Nick of Time Foundation, a wonderful organization that provides heart health screenings at local schools and helps to educate the community about this problem.


C and T have both been screened, and it only took thirty minutes from start to finish. Your child's doctor can perform the ECG or give you a referral to a cardiac specialist.

Mandatory heart health screenings should be included in every sports physical before a student can participate.  It makes sense to be sure their hearts are capable of strenuous activity.  

So many of the things that can hurt our teens are out of our control.  But this isn't one of them. And no parent should have to suffer the loss that Nick's mother did after that football game.

17 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this information. I'm going to speak to my doctor about this next time I take my son in for his check up! What a terrible tragedy for Nick's family.

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    1. I'm glad to share the information. It's such a preventable tragedy. Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  2. This is a public service, for sure.

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  3. The son of some good friends collapsed and died on the basketball floor during a game. With his mother and sister in the stands. It was all around tragic. I thought he was a unique case. I see now that he was not. I will pass this along. Great information! Thank you!

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    1. I'm so sorry that this happened to your friends - how awful. We need to get the word out!

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  4. You have addressed an important topic. Such sobering statistics.
    Nick's mother is helping prevent many other families from going through the terrible tragedy she suffered. My son's last sports physical included an optional screening EKG - which we of course opted for. Hopefully this is becoming a more widespread mandatory requirement.
    Many thanks to Nick's mom and to you Lana, for helping to reduce these tragic deaths.

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    1. I'm SO glad your son has been screened. Right now there are only 5 states that require screening with sports physicals - hopefully that number will grow.

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  5. All of my boys have played in sports from the time they were able to enroll. These kinds of things def. come to mind for parents though, more often than once. It's important to share the information.

    Happy to have found your post/blog. I'm you latest G+ groupie. :)

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    1. Thank you for stopping by. I'm so glad I found your blog.

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  6. This is so scary...I've heard of it happening now and then, but it sounds like it's more common than the incidents I've heard about. And actually, one of my husband's closest friends died in college, when his heart stopped while he was sleeping. He was also an athlete, and there was no warning. I'll definitely bring this up the next time my kids are in for a checkup.

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    1. I'm so glad the information was helpful. It definitely is more common than any of us realize!

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  7. Unreal. I had no idea! I will share this to spread the word.

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    1. Thank you. I definitely want to get the word out.

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  8. wooow i had no idea...and no warning makes it even worse. Definitely will be encouraging my college athlete friends to get check because that ir truly a preventable tragedy. Thank you so much,

    be blessed.

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    1. Thanks Amelia - glad you stopped by. Definitely spread the word among your friends.

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  9. I realize that nothing is fair but I'm still trying. I just want to do my best and what is possible
    povaup

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