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SUDDEN CARDIAC ARREST - What is it and its symptons
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By Greer Firestone

- Playwright/actor in 1 man First Person Multi Media Living History show THE DuPONT STORY  A FAMILY A COMPANY

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- Playwright/actor in 1 man First Person Multi Media Living History show THE DuPONT STORY  A FAMILY A COMPANY

- Playwright of Broadway style musical GERSHWIN, by GEORGE: The 1936 Radio, JUDY GARLAND \x34World's Greatest Entertainer\x34

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By Greer Firestone
July 24, 2013 2:34 p.m.



What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Occurs suddenly and often without warning.

An electrical malfunction (short circuit) causes the bottom chambers of the heart (ventricles) to 

beat dangerously fast (ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation) and disrupts the pumping ability of 

the heart.

The heart cannot pump blood to the brain, lungs and other organs of the body.

The person loses consciousness (passes out) and has no pulse.

Death occurs within minutes if not treated immediately.

 

What causes Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Conditions present at birth

1 Inherited(passed on from parents/relatives)

2) Conditions of the heart muscle:



Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy - hypertrophy (thickening) of the left ventricle; the most common cause of sudden cardiac arrest with athletes in America.



Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy -

replacement of part of the right ventricle by fat and scar; the most common cause of sudden cardiac arrest in Italy.



Marfan Syndrome

Disorder of the structure of blood vessels that makes them prone to rupture; often associated with very long arms and unusually flexible joints.



  • §




Inherited conditions of the electrical system:



Lonq QT Syndrome -abnormality in the ion channels (electrical system) of the heart.



Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia

and Brugada Syndrome - other types of electrical abnormalities that are rare but run in families.



  • §




NonInherited (not passed on from the family, but still present at birth)



Coronary Artery Abnormalities - abnormality of the blood vessels that supply blood  to the heart muscle.  The second most common cause of sudden cardiac arrest in 

athletes in the U.S.



Aortic valve abnormalities - failure of the aortic valve (the valve between the heart 

and the aorta) to develop properly; usually causes a loud heart murmur.



Non compaction Cardiomyopathy - a condition where the heart muscle does not 

develop normally. 



Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome - an extra conducting fiber is present in the heart’s 

electrical system and can increase the risk of arrhythmias. 

Conditions not present at birth but acquired later in life:



Commotio Cordis - concussion of the heart  that can occur from being hit in the chest 

by a ball, puck, or fist.



Myocarditis - infection/inflammation of the heart, usually caused by a virus.



Recreational/Performance - Enhancing drug use

Idiopathic - Sometimes the underlying cause of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest is unknown, even after autopsy.

What are the symptoms/warning signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Fainting/blackouts (especially during exercise)

Dizziness

Unusual fatigue/weakness

Chest pain

Shortness of breath

Nausea/vomiting

Palpitations (heart is beating unusually fast or skipping beats) 

Family history of sudden cardiac arrest at age < 50

ANY of these symptoms/warning signs that occur while exercising may necessitate 

further evaluation from your physician before returning to practice or a game

What is the treatment for Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Time is critical and an immediate response is vital.

CALL 911

Begin CPR

Use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

For more information: Greer@GreerFirestone.com



 

 

 

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