What is sudden death?

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A more formal definition, which is used in medical studies: “Sudden death is the death that occurs in the first hour of the onset of symptoms or unexpected death of an apparently healthy person living alone and was well in term 24 previous hours”.

Sudden death occurs when the heart beats are so fast that the heart quivers instead of pumping blood to the body and brain. If left untreated, can lead to death in minutes. If you have this risk, an implantable defibrillator may be the treatment of choice to treat dangerously fast heart rhythms and provide ongoing protection against sudden death.

Causes
An electrical problem in the heart causes sudden death. It occurs when the heart starts beating dangerously fast, making quiver rather than pump blood to the body and brain.

Among the main cardiac diseases that can trigger sudden death and who have a major genetic component are:

  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.- It is an inherited disease characterized by thickening of the heart muscle, more precisely, LV.
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy.- It is a heart condition characterized by abnormal left ventricular dilatation and systolic dysfunction, incapacitating the heart muscle to pump blood effectively.
  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia.- It is a heart disease autosomal dominant inheritance, is characterized by progressive loss of myocytes, which are replaced by fibro-fatty tissue.
  • Brugada syndrome.- It is a heart condition characterized by episodes of fast polymorphic ventricular tachycardia. These can cause episodes of syncope (fainting) or sudden death.
  • Long QT Syndrome (SQTL).- At least nine genes that have been associated with the development of this disease are known.
  • Ventricular Tachycardia catecholaminergic polymorphic.- It is a heart disease hereditary presented in structurally normal hearts.

Symptoms
Some people may experience rapid heartbeat or feeling dizzy, which alerts them of a potentially dangerous heart rhythm. Others who suffer sudden death may lose consciousness before being able to ask for help.

Risk Factors
Among people with a higher risk for sudden death include those:

  • Who have had a heart attack (myocardial infarction)
  • Suffering a process of heart failure (failing heart pumping)
  • They have survived a previous sudden death
  • With a family history of sudden death
  • With a low ejection fraction

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