By Victoria Rhee
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the number one killer of student athletes and the number two killer of young adults under the age of twenty-five. It strikes without warning; death is often the first and only symptom.
As the newly founded UCLA chapter of the Saving Hearts Foundation (SHF), our mission is to prevent SCA through awareness, education, and action. Our foundation provides free CPR/AED training and preventative heart screenings to young competitive athletes to test for warning signs of Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and will place AED’s in local schools since these are the only two methods to survival once SCA strikes.
On campus, SHF hosts fundraisers and bake sales in an effort to spread the message that SCA can strike anyone at any time. One of our biggest events this year will be a charity event called Dodging SCA, a dodgeball tournament scheduled for Spring quarter. We hope to see a large number of UCLA students come together to compete and join us in our stand against SCA.
SHF is hosting Heart Awareness Week now. On Tuesday, we will be out on Bruin Walk educating students on what our mission and objectives are and how prevalent sudden cardiac arrest is among the youth. On Wednesday, we will be holding a bake sale. And on Thursday, we will raise more awareness through fun games.
One student athlete dies every three days due to SCA. As college students who attend an university famous for its outstanding athletic achievements, we are determined to take the preventative steps crucial to avoid unnecessary tragedy on our campus.
Our end goal, this year, will be to begin the process to provide free heart screenings for youth in high schools around Los Angeles in order to identify cardiac anomalies that may lead to SCA. With one in one hundred youth unknowingly at risk, these heart screenings are essential. Saving lives is our number one priority, and with student commitment, we will achieve our goal. Join the fight to prevent SCA.