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Sudden Cardiac Arrest

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. If this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs.  SCA usually causes death if it’s not treated within minutes. A simple electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) can detect major causes of SCA.

How often should my child's heart be checked/screened?


The Cody Stephens Medical Advisory Board advocates that all children and teens be screened every two years or at least once in middle school and once in high school. Please continue to monitor your child's heart health and contact your physician if they develop any of following symptoms.

An ECG screening is only a brief snapshot of the well being of heart health. While research shows ECGs are the best test currently available for screening young hearts, there are conditions that cannot be detected with an ECG. Some heart conditions are congenital (from birth) and others are acquired (i.e., virus, medication).

Screenings Work

When Huffman ISD started their heart screening program in 2011, football player Chris Aguilar’s parents signed him up. The ECG showed a serious abnormality and within weeks Chris went through a 9-hour surgery to correct a heart issue no one knew he had. The next year he was back playing football and volunteering for the local fire department.

-Huffman ISD

Cody's Senior night at Crosby HS

Warning signs and symptoms of a heart condition:

  • Fainting or seizure during or after physical activity or resulting from emotional excitement, emotional distress or startle.

  • Chest pain or discomfort/racing heartbeat.

  • Unexplained fainting or seizures.

  • Unusual shortness of breath, fatigue.

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness during or after physical activity.

  • Family history of heart disease, unexpected sudden death during physical activity or during a seizure or any other sudden, unexplained death of a healthy family member under age 50.  For more information, please visit

Consult a physician promptly if you or someone you know has one or more of these signs and/or symptoms.

Want to help at a heart screening in your community? Let us know! We'd love your help. We provide training and support.

Cody Stephens Foundation provides free heart screenings for Texas youth. Your thoughtful gift will help save lives and allow children to play with heart.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter for a calendar of where we'll be screening, heart screening updates and more.

The Cody Stephens Foundation
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