Monday, May 9, 2011

“The Warning Signs” - Sudden Cardiac Death

The sad facts are that at least 700 Canadians under the age of 35 die from Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) annually, and 50% of those who die suddenly experience at least one of the “The Warning Signs” prior to their deaths. Early medical intervention is the key to preventing SCD in children and young adults since many cardiac arrhythmia disorders are genetic and with proper medical assessment, many of these disorders are identifiable and treatable.

SCD in youth is a non-traumatic and unexpected sudden cardiac arrest that occurs within 6 hours of a previously normal state of health. They are the third leading cause of death in youth behind only suicides and accidents. The Canadian Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes Foundation (SADS), a registered Canadian charity, is the only patient advocacy group in Canada dedicated to supporting families affected by inherited cardiac rhythm disorders and committed to raising awareness about “The Warning Signs” for these devastating disorders.

Knowing “The Warning Signs” can help save a life before the condition becomes fatal. They are:
  • Fainting (syncope) or seizure during physical activity
  • Fainting (syncope) or seizure resulting from emotional excitement, emotional distress or startle
  • Family history of unexpected sudden death during physical activity or during a seizure, or any other unexplained sudden death of an otherwise healthy young person
SADS promotes on-going collaborative efforts to educate any group who works with youth including sports organizations, school boards and recreational centres, and this week in Ottawa, SADS will host the “Living with Inherited Cardiac Rhythm Disorders” Conference.

While recognizing “The Warning Signs” is the road to prevention, needing to react immediately at the time of a cardiac arrest is crucial to the survival of the patient as it can all happen so fast. So acting upon the policy recommendation identified in the Canadian Heart Health Action Plan, the Canadian Government has invested in a $10 million initiative dedicated to helping cover the cost of putting a life-saving Automated External Defibrillators (AED) in every hockey arena and recreational centre in Canada that does not have one, and will support training for attendants in using them.

Online resource:
Cardiovascular Screening of Canadian Athletes for Prevention of Sudden Death: Review, Rationale & Recommendations

Contact SIRC for more information about Sudden Cardiac Death in sport!

1 comment:

David said...

SADS Educational Video