Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating, cutting off blood flow to the brain and other vital organs. SCA can be fatal if not treated immediately.
Warning signs in a youth athlete’s family that indicate the youth athlete may be at high risk of SCA:
A blood relative who suddenly and unexpectedly dies before age 50
Any of the following conditions: cardiomyopathy, long QT syndrome, Marfan syndrome, or other rhythm problems of the heart
Warning signs of SCA -- if any of these things happen with exercise, the youth athlete should be seen by a health care professional:
Unexplained fainting/near fainting or dizziness
Unexplained tiredness, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Unusually fast or racing heart beats
Any young athlete with any of these warning signs cannot participate in practices or competition until cleared by a health care professional.
The youth athlete who faints or passes out before, during, or after an athletic activity MUST be removed from the activity. Before returning to the activity, the youth athlete must be seen by a health care professional and cleared in writing.
If the youth athlete’s biological parent, sibling or child has had a SCA, then the youth athlete MUST be removed from activity. Before returning to the activity, the youth athlete must be seen by a health care professional and cleared in writing.
The Ohio Department of Health, and other stakeholders jointly developed guidelines and materials to inform and educate youth athletes, their parents, and their coaches about the nature and warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest. Information about SCA is available below.
Required SCA Informational Handout
Required Signature Form
Click here for Ohio Department of Health
Ohio’s Lindsay’s Law (Ohio revised code 3707.58) requires both the youth athlete and parent/guardian to acknowledge receipt of information about Sudden Cardiac Arrest by signing the form above.