Former O.F.A. swimmers to swim from Ontario to Ogdensburg to raise awareness of sudden cardiac death in kids
Thursday, August 15, 2013 - 5:33 pm

OGDENSBURG -- Two former O.F.A. swim team members will swim from Prescott, Ontario to Ogdensburg Aug. 25 to raise awareness of sudden cardiac death in youth.

Renee Langstaff and Andee West will swim to raise awareness and funds for Parent Heart Watch, a national organization dedicated to protecting youth from sudden cardiac arrest and preventable sudden cardiac death.

One young athlete falls victim to sudden cardiac arrest every three to four days in the United States, according to Parent Heart Watch.

“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,” said Langstaff.

“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,” she said.

Langstaff wants to see free cardiac screenings available to all youth.

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