Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death worldwide. In the U.S., 326,000 people experience out-of-hospital SCA per year, with nine out of 10 incidents being fatal.

Not only do 6,000 children suffer from SCA per year, but SCA is also the leading cause of death in exercising young athletes.

In 2010, Hector Paredes and Rhina Paredes-Greeson established the Eric Paredes Save a Life Foundation. Eric Paredes, their son, died at 15 from a heart abnormality no one knew he had. Today, the Eric Paredes Save a Life Foundation works to prevent other families from experiencing the loss of a child to a syndrome that could be prevented.

Eric Paredes Family Foundation

Hector Paredes and Rhina Paredes-Greeson pose with a photo of their son, Eric, who passed away due to Sudden Cardiac Arrest in 2009.

Awareness, Education and Action

EP Save a Life is committed to preventing SCA in young people through three steps: awareness, education and action.

Through 17,950 free heart screenings offered since 2010, EP Save a Life has identified 365 hearts with abnormalities and 155 teens at risk in San Diego. Screenings are free of cost to any person 12-25 years old and only take about 30 minutes to complete.

The Ramona Community Foundation granted EP Save a Life $3,500 to help fund a 2016 screening at Ramona High School.  The Ramona screening is one of six free heart screenings EP Save a Life has planned for 2016.

[Tweet “.@EPSaveALife is preventing SCA in young people through awareness, education and action #SDFNews”]

“We strategically hold screenings throughout the region of San Diego to increase our impact,” explained EP Save a Life Executive Director Maureen Legg. “However, in the past year we have seen an increase to more than half of the children coming to screenings outside of their region.”

Education Leads to Prevention

Preventative education is paramount to EP Save a Life’s mission. The screenings serve as an opportunity to connect and inform parents, along with their children.

“Symptoms often go unrecognized from a lack of awareness of what to look for,” continued Legg. “Our hope is that we can create an ongoing dialogue that will lead to action and prevention.”

To learn more about SCA, visit the EP Save a Life resources page. Additionally, EP Save a Life provides training on CPR techniques and automated external defibrillator (AED) operation to increase survival rates during a SCA attack.

What’s Next?

In 2016, EP Save a Life hopes to screen at least 1,000 young people at each of their six screenings. Have a child or teen age 12-25? Register them for a free heart screening.

Want to get involved? Visit EP Save a Life’s volunteer page for opportunities.

Volunteer Today