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Blog for 25/03/12

So, this week I decided to do my blog on something that happened recently. When watching the football with my boyfriend over the weekend (something I usually find a chore!) I was shocked to see a player suddenly collapse on the pitch, after several minutes it became apparent that his heart had stopped beating and medical staff were doing there best to revive him. I’m currently writing this a day after the incident took place, and at this moment in time, the player is still critically ill in intensive care, fingers crossed he pulls through! After witnessing such a devastating moment and seeing the reactions of players and spectators, I began to wonder how common this could be in young healthy people. Speaking from personal experiences, I was unfortunate enough to lose my brother to sudden death syndrome over 2 years ago, an illness I had no knowledge about until experiencing it myself, and conducting some research into it.

The question I am raising within this blog is… can more research into areas of SDS and heart attacks in young people prevent such tragedies from occurring more often?

I’m probably biased, but I really do think that more research could be done into these areas, which could further more prevent these incidents from happening again. Autopsies have shown that young adults dying from SDS, die from a deficiency in the heart, the blood flow becomes irregular, which then causes the heart to become overwhelmed and stop beating.

There are up to 450,000 sudden cardiac arrests in the USA in young adults every year, many of these during physical activity (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sudden-death/HB00092)

Researchersfrom the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research identified 160 non-traumatic athlete deaths in high school and college organized sports between July 1983 and June 1993 (http://www.aafp.org/afp/1998/0601/p2763.html)

Research into SDS has shown that doctors do not take the condition seriously, with 4 to 8 young adults dying of the condition in the UK every week. Many of them attending doctors appointments to complain of chest pain when exercising or dizziness being turned away being told they are simply run down or stressed.

Not that I’m trying to startle any readers, but if those 4 to 8 people had been taken seriously when they visited the doctor’s, half of the cases could have been prevented. Tests into the strength of the heart can be conducted to show if there are any abnormalities, which can then be treated through drugs. Once SDS takes place, the heart stops within 20 seconds to 2 minutes, in this time, the electro pulses which have startled the heart and caused it to stop, disappear, making the complete cause of the illness undetectable.

On the other side of this argument, many people could point out that if the illness is somewhat undetectable then people will not be completely certain of the cause until it is to late.

I am simply arguing, that if there are certain symptoms matching those of heart problems, they can be detected and then treated, reducing the number of victims to this illness from rising.

For more information on the illness, I found this site really useful:

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/disorders/electric/scd.aspx

 

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Comments on: "Blog for 25/03/12" (1)

  1. I have found your blog this week very moving, and I am sorry for your loss. I don’t think you are being biased when you say that more research into areas like this are needed, because I completely agree. However, it is very similar to many other illnesses that effect young people, where more research is necessary in order to help people, yet there is a lack of funding, or a lack of interest in the area so nothing is done. I am not trying to defend this at all, and in fact I feel that there should be withdrawal of research from other areas (such as the funding to the investigation finding that snails move so slowly razor blades wont harm them) to investigate such important matter that are effecting the lives of so many people.

    So overall, I completely agree with your arguments, and wish that there was enough funding out there in order to produce the levels of helpful research that areas like this need.

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