New study shows it occurs more often when at rest
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/02/2012 -- The stories of young superior athletes suddenly dropping in the middle of practice or training is becoming less uncommon these days.
The link between the sudden cardiac affliction in power athletes does raise initial alarm, as many can be quick to concluded that the levels of activity are what cause the attack; however, a new study in Canada seems to dispel some of the concern regarding the supposed correlation.
The study finds a majority of sudden cardiac death cases do not happen during exercise, at least when it comes to young adults.
Deaths in young adults from the affliction, especially those individuals who are high-quality athletes, are rather rare. Most sudden cardiac deaths happen on the field of play among those who are not exerting themselves.
The reason that fact is important is because the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at sporting events is then not the most viable option, according to Dr. Andrew Krahn, cardiologists in the medical school of the University of British Columbia.
"If we're going to try to prevent this problem, we need to be aware that the problem is not a sports problem. The problem is really an infrequent but tragic death that happens usually at home and usually at rest," says Krahn.
"Putting it (an AED) at the Y is a sensible thing to do, but not at the exclusion of putting it at the mall. Or the school."
The finding by the Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and making AEDs available in more public places could save lives in the case of sudden cardiac deaths, says Dr. Beth Abramson, a Toronto-based cardiologists and researcher funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
"Our goal is to make AEDs as available as fire extinguishers in public places from Yellowknife to St. John's," Abramson said in a statement. "The odds of surviving a cardiac arrest can increase to up to 75%when early CPR is used in combination with an AED in the first few minutes."
The rapid response had demonstrated importance when MacLean suffered a cardiac arrest while playing a pick-up hockey game in Owen Sound, Ontario. Players performed CPR and a spectator went straight for the AED. MacLean survived, but his hockey career had to be terminated.
Up to 40,000 Canadians die of sudden cardiac arrest per year. Krahn notes the numbers suggest 500 to 700 young people die in such a manner way each year.
Nearly 75% of individuals who suffered sudden cardiac death were between the ages of 18 and 40. Of those who died, 72% of the attacks occurred at home.
Krahn herself has been affected by the affliction, as her brother-in-law died while reading a book. He was found with the book still in his lap.
"He made no attempt to try to seek help. And that's because presumably the symptoms are so rapid that by the time you say 'I don't feel well. Something's wrong,' you're done. It's virtually instantaneous," Krahn says.
Krahn runs a clinic for cardiac arrest survivors. He tests family members of those who have had cardiac arrest in their family. Scientists still do not know all there is to about cardiac arrests, factors are well known and much has to do with family health history.
People with Long QT syndrome, heart rhythm disorders are at higher risk. Krahn suggests testing to check for abnormalities in the heart.
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