Spotting Heart Issues in Student Athletes

Published 03/11 2014 06:27PM

Updated 03/11 2014 06:31PM

HOLLIDAYSBURG, BLAIR COUNTY - A professional athlete collapsed during a hockey game Monday night due to a heart issue. The Dallas Stars' Rich Peverly  was rushed to a hospital where he's said to be  stable.

Sudden cardiac death is the number on killer of student athletes. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that every three days a high school athlete suffers a heart attack.

About two years ago, a new Pennsylvania law aimed at preventing those deaths, took effect. It requires  coaches, trainers, student athletes, and parents to learn  the symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest or SCA before kids can participate in sports.

SCA happens when the heart stops beating suddenly and unexpectedly. The law requires that children who show the symptoms of heart problems  be  screened by a medical professional before being allowed to return to sports.

One area coach says she feels better equipped to spot kids who might be at risk.  "In order to keep kids safe, we  have to begin to have conversations, start understanding  what we're supposed to be looking for,  and then take measures to make our practices and our contests safer, " Hollidaysburg Area School District Volleyball Coach Meredith Henderson explains.

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