Thomas Smith Memorial Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity.

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest ?  
SCA is the condition in which the electrical system to the heart  malfunctions, resulting in a disruption of the heart’s normal   rhythm and the loss of its ability to  deliver blood to the body. If untreated, this abrupt disruption results in sudden death. 

Is a Sudden Cardiac Arrest the same as a heart attack?  
NO - SCA occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood through the body owing to a glitch in the heart’s electrical system. The heart enters an abnormal rhythm, known as ventricular fibrillation (V Fib), in which the heart muscles twitch or quiver but do not beat. The patient will collapse without warning and is unresponsive.

A heart attack occurs when a blocked blood vessel disrupts blood flow to the heart, resulting in an area of dead heart muscle. Throughout a heart attack, the heart usually continues beating normally. The patient commonly has chest pain, shortness of breath, racing heart, etc and they generally remain conscious and responsive throughout the event.  

What is involved in a student heart screening?
* a medical history review
* a physical examination by a cardiologist
* a blood pressure check
* an electrocardiogram / EKG / ECG
* an echocardiogram / ultrasound of the heart, if needed 

How many young people die of this ?

The American Heart Association has estimated that every year in the United States, approximately 3,000 patients younger than 25 years  will die of SCA. 

Why do so many young people have Sudden Cardiac Arrests?
Sudden cardiac arrest in a young person usually stems from a structural defect in the heart or a problem with its electrical circuitry. The most frequent cause, accounting for about 40 percent of all cases, is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM, a thickening of the heart muscle.