Know the signs What is Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome in adults and children, what causes it and what are the symptoms?
Every week 12 young people die unexpectedly from a heart condition they didn't know they had - here's what we know about SADS
SUDDEN Arrhythmic Death Syndrome can strike both adults and children at any moment but what else do we know about the fatal condition?
Recently, a mum told of her heartbreak as she watched her five-year-old daughter collapse and die of a heart attack at the school gates.
Lilly May Page-Bowden told her mum Claire Page: “Look how fast I can run” while speeding off to see her granny.
After her death it was established that Lilly May suffered from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) – here’s what we know about the condition.
What is Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome?
Every week 12 young people die unexpectedly from a heart condition they didn’t know they had – sometimes caused by SADS.
When no definite cause of death can be found, even after the heart has been examined by a cardiac expert, it is known as SADS.
The genetic heart condition is often passed down from parent to child, meaning each child of an affected parent has a 50 per cent chance of inheriting it.
What causes it?
Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome is occurs when someone has a ‘ventricular arrhythmia’ – also known as a disturbance in the heart’s rhythm.
The rhythm of our heartbeat is controlled by natural electrical activity in our heart cells and if this electrical current is disturbed it can result in a cardiac arrest.
There are a group of fairly rare diseases called ion channelopathies which can cause these potentially fatal arrhythmias.
The diseases affect the electrical functioning of the heart but don’t impact the heart’s structure – so they can only be detected when a person is alive not during a post-mortem.
The group of ion channelopathies are probably responsible for four in 10 cases of SADS and they include:
- Long QT Syndrome (LQTS)
- Brugada Syndrome CPVT (catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia)
- PCCD (progressive cardiac conduction defect)
- IVF (idiopathic ventricular fibrillation)
- Sodium channel disease.
There are two other more rare cause of SADS, one is structural heart disease, which causes around one or two in 10 cases and the other is conduction disease.
What are the symptoms?
As SADS is a hereditary disease, there are steps you can take to help prevent the condition and there are three major warning signs.
- Check your family history for an SADS diagnosis or a sudden unexplained death, often these aren’t diagnosed and have been left untreated
- Fainting or seizure during exercise or excitement
- Consistent or unusual chest pain and/or shortness of breath during exercise
By ALANA MOORHEAD - 30th November 2016, 4:49 pm
Original Story Credit: The Sun at https://www.thesun.co.uk/living/2296901/what-is-sudden-arrhythmic-death-syndrome-what-causes-it-what-are-the-symptoms/