How to Prevent SCA (Sudden Cardiac Arrest) in Student Athletes!

Posted on: February 13th, 2013 by Chris 2 Comments

cardiactestingI was shocked to find out that 10,000 young people die from SCA or Sudden Cardiac Arrest each year.  According to the American Heart Association, SCA is a silent killer.  It strikes without any symptoms or warning.   Sadly we usually hear about this during H.S. football training camp season, but apparently students are dying of this all year round.

There is some good news!  A simple cardiac test is being done to detect the potential for SCA with 99% accuracy. Unfortunately the test is not done during a routine physical and most insurance companies do not cover cardiac testing unless there are symptoms. So what can a family do to protect their student athlete? One family in Texas is hoping to help families avoid the heartbreak they experienced with the loss of their son.

zacZac Schrah appeared to be a healthy high school football player. But in 2009, he went into sudden cardiac arrest on the football field of his Plano, TX high school. Sadly, Zac died. Zac’s parents decided they wanted to help other families so they started “Living 4 Zachary” to help get the word out about SCA and help families learn about how to prevent it. Zac’s family is also helping supply schools with Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to help resuscitate anyone who may collapse due to SCA.

The Heart Hospital Baylor in Plano, TX is also trying to help student athletes. They provide athletes a screening for only $100! It includes an electrocardiogram, echocardiogram and blood pressure screenings to youth ages 12-22. But this Friday, February 15, 2013 it will host a free youth heart screening on behalf of Living 4 Zachary.

Here are the details:
Free youth heart screenings at the Living for Zachary Education Forum
Friday, February 15, 2013
5-9 pm at the Omni Dallas Convention Center Hotel
Dallas Ballroom
555 S. Lamar Street in Downtown Dallas.
Register at or 877.LVG.4ZAC (877.584.4922)

There are also other ways you can find out more. First go to Living 4 Zachary’s website and arm yourself with as much information as you can. There are also ways you can help other student athletes by providing donations.

And if you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, check out this free screening on Friday. If not, ask your doctor if anyone in your area provides a heart screening for kids. Sadly SCA is happening to way too many student athletes.

  • Mary DeBauche

    The best way to prevent SCD is to identify it before it happens. Get an ECG done and interpreted by a Cardiologist who is fully trained in reading the student athlete population – a student athlete’s ECG is very different than an adult’s, a non-athlete’s, etc. AEDs are important too, but an ECG will help diagnose a problem and prevent the trauma to body and mind that a cardiac event can cause.

  • Michelle

    Hello, I live in Garland Texas and my son Tony is an athlete in a Garland High School Football, his blood pressure was 174/90 and fluctuates throughout the day, Dad and I are so worried about our son going on the field this year. I really need help trying to locate free screening. If anyone knows, please email me at: respond as soon as you can. Thank you, God Bless

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