Cardiac arrest in Youngsters – Causes & Prevention
Heart defects or other heart abnormalities that are overlooked or undiscovered often cause sudden death in people younger than 35. Usually, sudden deaths like these occur while performing physical activity, such as playing sports. Males die more often than females because of SCA. Many elementary, high school, and college athletes take part without incident every year. Talk to your doctor if you or your child are at risk of sudden death so that you can take precautions.
If not treated within minutes, Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) can cause death. The condition results from an “unexpected loss of heart function” that causes loss of consciousness and collapse. Surviving outside a hospital depends on prompt emergency responses by bystanders.
What are the causes of sudden cardiac arrest in youngsters and how can we prevent it?
Sudden cardiac arrest is most often caused by an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia). When your heart’s electrical system isn’t functioning correctly, sudden cardiac arrest can occur. The electrical system controls heart rate and rhythm in the heart. Something wrong with your heart causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). Most types of arrhythmia are temporary and harmless; however, some types can cause sudden cardiac arrest. Heart arrhythmias in the lower chamber of the heart (ventricle) are the most common at the time of cardiac arrest. The ventricles (ventricular fibrillation) quiver uselessly when you receive rapid, erratic electrical signals.
Sudden cardiac death occurs for a variety of reasons in young people, including:
People with no known heart disease can experience sudden cardiac arrest. In most cases, a life-threatening arrhythmia occurs in a person with an undiagnosed, pre-existing heart condition. The following are some possibilities:
- Heart attack- A heart attack can cause ventricular fibrillation and sudden cardiac arrest, often because of severe coronary disease. It can also result in scarring in your heart. Your heart rhythm may be abnormal if electrical short circuits are surrounding the scar tissue.
- Congenital heart disease- Congenital heart disease may cause sudden cardiac arrest in children or adolescents. SCA still occurs in adults with congenital heart defects who have undergone corrective surgery.
- Coronary artery disease- People who have coronary artery disease are more likely to suffer sudden cardiac arrest, in which the arteries become clogged with cholesterol and other deposits, reducing blood flow to the heart.
- Heart enlargement (cardiomyopathy)- It’s caused by your heart’s muscular walls stretching and enlarging or thickening. In that case, your heart muscle is abnormal, leading to arrhythmias.
- Heart electrical problems- An electrical problem may occur in some people rather than a problem with the heart muscle or valves. Among these are conditions such as Brugada syndrome and long QT syndrome, which are categorized as primary heart rhythm abnormalities.
- Valve-based heart disease- You may experience stretching or thickening of your heart muscle because of leakage or narrowing of your heart valves. An arrhythmia is more likely to occur when the chambers are enlarged or weakened because of a tight or leaking valve.
You can reduce your risk by following your doctor’s orders, making lifestyle changes, taking prescription medications, and having interventions or surgery (as recommended by your doctor).
Getting follow-up care from your doctor:
The frequency of your follow-up visits will be determined by your doctor. Diagnostic tests are necessary to determine what caused the cardiac event to prevent future episodes of sudden cardiac arrest. Testing may include electrocardiograms (ECGs or EKGs), ejection fraction, echocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, and electrophysiology studies.
Ejection fraction (EF):
The ejection fraction refers to how much blood leaves the heart with every contraction. During an echocardiogram (echo) or other tests such as multi-gate acquisition (MUGA) scanning, cardiac catheterization, nuclear stress testing, and magnetic resonance imaging of the heart, the ejection fraction can be determined. Healthy hearts have an Ejection fraction between 55 and 65%. Because of your heart condition and the effectiveness of the therapies prescribed, your Ejection fraction can vary.
Reduce your risk factors:
You can reduce high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, manage your diabetes and weight if you have coronary artery disease (and even if you don’t), and thus reduce your risk of sudden cardiac arrest.
Lifestyle changes include:
- Stopping smoking
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Regular exercise
- Healthy low-fat diet
- Managing sugar-level
If you have questions or are unsure how to make these changes, get in touch with OMNI experts. OMNI’s center of excellence for cardiology is equipped with the best doctors and equipment. The state-of-the-art cath lab, with experienced doctors and well-trained nurses, is there to ensure you get the best treatment for heart problems 24*7.
To book an appointment now call: 888 0101 000