A safer approach to
work, life and sport


A safer approach to work, life and sport


Preventing Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Youth Athletes

Amanda Muscatell 20 November 2018

Do you want to make a difference in youth sports? Better yet, do you want to make a difference on your own child’s playground?

Learn more about how you can help provide an AED where your loved one plays—on and off the field. It’s as simple as three steps.
Many parents do not know that their young athlete has a heart condition until a their worst nightmare becomes an unfortunate reality. Did you know that many heart conditions are undiagnosed and untreated which can lead to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is the unexplained death of an infant under the age of one. Research from the Mayo Clinic showed that up to 15% of all SIDS deaths could be linked to an electrical heart condition that was left undetected.
Darren and Phyllis Sudman founded Simon’s Heart in memory of their late son, Simon. He died suddenly from an undetected heart condition while taking a nap at just three months old. Simon’s Heart raises awareness about the cautionary signs and symptoms as well as conditions that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and potential death in both children and adults.
If you unexpectedly lose a family member under the age of 50, surviving parents, siblings and children should have their heart tested for any conditions which have been possibly left undetected. While sports provide team building skills that are invaluable, if your child wishes to participate in sports, he or she should have their heart tested in addition to a Pre-Participation Exam (PPE) to make sure that they are fit for rigorous activity.

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a condition in which the heart unexpectedly stops beating, halting blood flow to the brain and other vital organs. SCA is usually caused by an electrical disturbance in the heart that disrupts it from pumping. SCA results in death if not treated within minutes. 2,000 patients under the age 25 die of SCA every year in the U.S., The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates. While the cause of SCA in athletes is still unknown, any young athlete with an underlying heart condition is at a much greater risk during any vigorous exercise.
According to a NATA national survey of parents that measured their perceptions of youth sports, only 20% of parents learn about the availability of an AED. An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is an electronic device that is able to detect abnormal heart rhythms that can and does save lives each and every day.

The Facts

  • 350,000 people die from cardiac arrest every year in the United States.
  • More than 70% increased chance of survival when an AED device is used.
  • 3 minutes is the recommended window of time to locate an AED and use it for the best chance of survival.
Read more about about What Students Need to Know.

The Solution

When CPR is provided and an AED shock is administered within the first 3 to 5 minutes after a collapse, survival rates are as high as 74%. Every child who is participating in physical activity and/or sports should have access to an AED. Many parks and playgrounds where kids are having fun do not provide adequate access to an AED. Want to help?

Is YOUR child protected?

GotAED is a crowdfunding site dedicated to placing AED devices where kids learn and play. It’s simple, need an AED? As a parent, school official, youth-related organization, you can make a HUGE difference by following these simple steps:
  1. Create a GotAED campaign.
  2. Share your campaign with your school, parents and friend networks
  3. Protect your children and save lives
Just over $1000 gets your facility an AED and cabinet or backpack. Within two weeks of reaching your goal, your AED and cabinet will be shipped directly by the AED distributor to the address that you provided at the beginning of your campaign.Once the AED arrives, you’ll need a plan. Place the cabinet and AED in a highly accessible and centralized location with adequate signage. Make sure that you have an Emergency Action Plan (EAP).
Schools, clubs and sports facilities should have an emergency action plan that includes a response plan in the case of an SCA event.

Learn more about Simon’s Heart and GotAED.