Parent Heart Watch Commemorates 10th Anniversary with "10 Lists of 10" Educational Campaign: Top 10 Signs of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Youth

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Cardiac arrest in children may not be easily recognizable. In cases where seizures and abnormal breathing are present, respond as if SCA.

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Many times after a child collapses, bystanders don't know what to do. Part of the reason is that they don't recognize what's happening as sudden cardiac arrest.

Parent Heart Watch (PHW), the national voice solely dedicated to protecting youth from sudden cardiac arrest and preventable sudden cardiac death, is commemorating its 10th anniversary by distributing “10 Lists of 10” throughout 2015 to raise awareness of cardiac arrest (SCA) in youth.

May’s list focuses on the Top 10 Signs of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest. According to PHW Executive Director Michele Snyder it is important to recognize sudden cardiac arrest when it occurs in youth. “Many times after a child collapses bystanders don’t know what to do. Part of the reason is that they don’t recognize what’s happening as a sudden cardiac arrest and therefore don’t begin the cardiac chain of survival. Every minute of delay decreases chances of survival by 10%. Quick recognition and action could save a life,” said Snyder. In each of the cases below, the assumption should be that the person is in cardiac arrest and the response should be to implement the cardiac chain of survival: call 9-1-1; begin CPR; retrieve and use an automated external defibrillator (AED) immediately; wait for EMS to arrive.

Top 10 Signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest
1.    Person is collapsed
2.    Person is unconscious and unresponsive
3.    Person is not breathing normal
4.    May be making gurgling noises
5.    May be snorting or moaning
6.    May be having seizure-like activity
7.    Person may have just received a blunt blow to the chest
8.    Sudden cardiac arrest can occur in a swimming pool or a single vehicle car accident
9.    Person had been complaining of light headedness or dizziness during or after physical activity prior to collapsing
10.    Person had been short of breath or complaining of chest pains prior to collapsing

Parent Heart Watch was founded in 2005 by four mothers who lost a child to sudden cardiac arrest. Today the organization serves as the national leader for SCA advocates working tirelessly in their own communities to prevent SCA. Members include parents who have lost a child to SCA, parents who have a child that survived SCA or is living with a heart condition, young SCA survivors, medical and allied health professionals and other action-oriented advocates.

For more information about SCA in youth, visit or watch SCA in Youth: The Passion Behind the Purpose.


About Parent Heart Watch - Parent Heart Watch (PHW) is the national voice solely dedicated to protecting youth from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) and preventable sudden cardiac death. PHW leads and empowers others by sharing information, educating and advocating for change.

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Michele Snyder
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