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AWARENESS

Our Foundation promotes the importance of preparedness to save a life in the event a cardiac emergency. We make the public aware of the importance of knowing how to save a life & why having an  Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is so essential for every school, camp, gymnasium & youth athletic field.

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Louis T. Savino, III Foundation Sudden Cardiac Death Registry &
AED Save Database
Our Findings:

​Since 2000 the Savino Foundation has located numerous cases of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in youth ages 5 to 21. Our findings indicate that deaths are occurring more frequently during practice sessions and during physical education classes when AED's may not be readily available.

 

We have also found that SCD cases occur most often in youth between the ages of 14 to 17 with an incidence mostly in males, although there has been a rise in female athlete deaths.

 

50 -80% of all athletes who die suddenly have some type of warning symptoms such as light-headedness, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest discomfort. (Source: Dr. Barry Franklin, Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation - Beaumont Hospital, Michigan).

 

40% of sudden cardiac death in youths has been caused by an abnormal thickening of the heart muscle known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). (Source: Dr. Robert Myerburg, Director of Cardiology at the University of Miami School of Medicine and Jackson Memorial Hospital).

Sports where sudden cardiac death occurs most often as a result of heart disorders:

  • Football

  • Basketball

  • Soccer

  • Track

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is the heart disorder that took the life of 15-year old Louis Savino, III

 

What is Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)?

 

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy consists of a thickening of the heart muscle, which disrupts the main pumping chamber of the heart. It is also referenced as an “enlarged heart”.
     

  • The heart muscle may thicken in normal individuals as a result of high blood pressure or prolonged athletic training. In Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy however, the muscle thickening occurs without an obvious cause.
     

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is often clinically silent. The most common symptoms associated with HCM are:

    • Shortness of breath

    • Chest pain

    • Palpitation

    • Light-headedness

    • Blackouts
       

  • HCM may be suspected because of symptoms, a murmur or an abnormal ECG/EKG. An individual with the condition may exhibit any of the symptoms described previously.
     

  • Because such symptoms could be caused by a large number of other conditions, further tests ( EKG or ECG and ECHO ) are necessary.
     

  • 90% of the fatalities caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy occur in association with exercise. It continues to be the leading cause of non-traumatic sudden death in young athletes.

 

For more information:
 

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association

American Heart Association