OGDESNBURG -- On Aug. 5, former Ogdensburg Free Academy swim team standouts Renee Langstaff and Andee West will swim from Prescott, Ontario, Canada to Ogdensburg, to raise awareness of sudden cardiac death in youth.
In addition to raising awareness, the event will be a fundraiser to benefit Parent Heart Watch, the national voice solely dedicated to protecting youth from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) and preventable Sudden Cardiac Death.
According to Parent Heart Watch, one student falls victim to sudden cardiac arrest every three to four days in the United States. Sudden cardiac death is the leading cause of death on school property. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) heart disease is the second leading cause of disease related fatality in youth.
Langstaff says it doesn’t have to be that way.
“We can improve our success rate of detecting cardiac conditions which put children at risk for sudden cardiac death. Prevention can be accomplished through cardiac screenings which include a comprehensive review of potential high risk factors including family history, and an electrocardiogram (ECG).
If we can make this early detection screening a standard of care, we can save lives.”
Langstaff states that in many areas of the country free cardiac screenings are offered to the public through not-for-profit organizations associated with Parent Heart Watch. These screenings are saving lives and Langstaff wants to do her part to make cardiac screening accessible to all youth. Partof the issue is raising awareness of SCA in youth.
“One common assumption is that a young, active, otherwise healthy child could not possibly have an underlying potentially fatal heart condition. Many of these children do not have any symptoms at all until they experience sudden cardiac arrest. There are many symptoms a young person could experience that could be easily written off. These symptoms include palpitations, fainting, dizziness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath or chest pain during or after exercise. If your child or student athlete experiences any of these symptoms they should have a comprehensive examination immediately.”
Parent Heart Watch leads and empowers others by sharing information, educating and advocating for change. Learn more at www.parentheartwatch.or