What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?  

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a condition in which the heart unexpectedly ceases to function. Often, this is because of ventricular fibrillation, irregular and rapid quivering of the heart's lower pumping chambers (ventricles). When this occurs, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs, causing loss of consciousness or seizure-like activity in seconds.

If not treated within minutes, SCA results in death. The normal rhythm of the heart can only be restored with defibrillation, an electrical shock that is safely delivered to the chest by an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is frequently the outcome of an underlying heart condition. It can also occur secondary to other conditions such as impact to the chest, heat stroke, asthma, drowning, electrocution, allergic reaction or medication.

Approved Curriculum

The following online training courses have been designed to educate athletic trainers, coaches, parents, athletes and other interested parties on the topic of Sudden Cardiac Arrest:


     Sudden Cardiac Arrest Training (NEW! Added July 2014)

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to find the answer to all of your Act 59 questions.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Resources

Athlete/Parent/Guardian Sudden Cardiac Arrest Symptoms and Warning Signs Information Sheet and Acknowledgement of Receipt and Review Form 

COACHES: You Could Save a Life!: Information and risk assessment form.

House Bill 1610, Act 59: An Act establishing standards for preventing sudden cardiac arrest and death in student athletes; assigning duties to the Department of Health and the Department of Education; and imposing penalties.

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) provides leadership for a national program in diseases of the heart, blood vessels, lung and blood.

Parent Heart Watch: A national network of parents, families and partners dedicated to reducing Sudden Cardiac Arrest in youth.

Pediatric Sudden Cardiac Arrest: Policy Statement on Pediatric Sudden Cardiac Arrest from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Philadelphia University You Tube Video:  Sudden cardiac arrest educational video presented by six prominent Philadelphia University basketball coaches.    

Simon's Fund: An organization dedicated to saving children's lives by raising awareness of conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest and death.

Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes Foundation: A Foundation dedicated to saving the lives and supporting the families of children and young adults who are genetically predisposed to sudden death due to heart rhythm abnormalities.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Fact Sheet: Developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. 

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation: A Foundation whose mission is to raise awareness about sudden cardiac arrest, a leading cause of death in the U.S. and Pennsylvania.

 Updated: July 10, 2014