Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of sudden death in footballers on the field-of-play (FoP). It is typically the result of an undiagnosed structural or electrical cardiovascular disease. The infrequent yet regular occurrence of SCA during football can often be prevented through cardiovascular screening, and if necessary, effectively treated by immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) use.
The majority of SCA in footballers occurs during training or competition because exercise is a trigger for lethal arrhythmias in players with an underlying cardiac pathology. While physical activity is undoubtedly beneficial for cardiovascular health, the risk of sudden death increased during bouts of exercise.