Sudden Cardiac Arrest

is #1 Cause of Death

in the USA!

The shock of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) of an adolescent is mind-numbing and devastating to both the family and the community involved. We tend to associate participation in physical activities and athletics as part of a healthy lifestyle, but it may not always be the case.  In fact,  many times physical activity uncovers a hidden cardiac anomaly putting strain on a flawed heart which can lead to sudden death. 

Undetected heart abnormalities do not discriminate between gender, age groups, athletes or non-athletes.  In the United States  it is the number cause of death across all age groups.  On average, 24 school aged children (12-18yrs) die  every day from sudden cardiac arrest.

Deborah Heart and Lung Center specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care of congenital heart conditions. Thanks to some funds donated to the Deborah Foundation and in consultation with Simon’s Fund, a not-for-profit organization established in 2005 in memory of Simon, son of Phyllis and Darren Sudman, who died tragically of sudden cardiac arrest – Deborah is able to offer  “Love Your Heart cardiac screenings” at no-charge to all students between the ages of 12 and 19 years old, so previously concealed heart abnormalities can be uncovered and treatment options offered so that a potential tragedy may be averted.

Sudden cardiac arrest in young athletes is most often secondary to structural and electrical causes. The Children’s Heart Center at Deborah, Deborah’s Department of Pediatric Cardiology and other qualified members of our clinical staff will conduct screenings and evaluations to detect potential cardiac conditions that could lead to (SCA) in adolescents.  The primary goal of this screening is to evaluate approximately 300 children and identify unsuspected and undetected cardiovascular abnormalities in an attempt to prevent the likelihood of sudden cardiac death by offering appropriate clinical interventions.   

This Deborah Community Outreach initiative is open to all students and community members between the ages of 12-19 years old, for screening and evaluation. 

In 2014 and 2015, Deborah partnered with Simons’ Fund to conduct a (2) school screening at the Lenape School District in Burlington County and Central Regional High School in Ocean County.  More than 340 students were screened of which 25 referrals had been made for formal cardiology consultation regarding the following issues: Palpitations, Patent Foramen Ovale, Bicuspid Aortic Valve, Atrial Septal Defect, Mitral Valve Prolapse, delta wave and borderline QT interval on ECG.  There were also numerous recommendations made for follow-up with the student’s pediatrician for risk factor management such as Hypertension and Obesity.

Millions of active adolescents undergo annual pre-participation medical evaluations without ECG screening. Some researchers quote the incidence of sudden cardiac arrest in student athletes as “rare”. Newer data shows the incidence to be up to four times as often as previously suspected. Regardless of the exact number, the fact is that it is preventable and the magnitude of these tragedies demands an effective plan to minimize their occurrence. If this program identifies just one serious condition and saves just one child, then the program can be deemed a success.   Awareness and prevention is the key to ensuring that all students, are heart-healthy.  By gathering support for these types of cardiac evaluations, Deborah hopes to help students not only safely prepare for their next activity but for a lifetime of healthy living. 

To support this worthwhile endeavor please DONATE NOW.



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