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.