Doctor Oz did an episode on the number one sudden killer in children- Sudden Cardiac Arrest, which causes the sudden death in children. Cardiac Arrest in children is almost always fatal. What causes these kids to die? What are the warning signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest? If you have children, you must read this and send it to all of your friends and family members with kids!
Dr Oz was joined by Dr G, Medical Examiner on Discovery Health, to teach us about sudden cardiac arrest – the number one sudden killer in children. One moment your kid can be full of energy and running around and then suddenly his or her heart can stop beating and stop pumping blood to the brain or other body parts. There are often no symptoms or warnings right before the Sudden Cardiac Arrest attacks. Sudden Cardiac Arrest is not the same thing as a heart attack. There are over a dozen heart disorders that can cause Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Of the 7000 children that go into Sudden Cardiac Arrest each year, only 5% survive. Death is preventable though if you know that your child has a heart condition. These are not kids that look sick or chronically ill.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest Causes
1. Enlarged Heart
A normal heart for a child is 300 grams, but their heart can get 2 to 4 times as large and as the muscle get enlarged, it can cause your child to die. Overtime, if it is a congenital problem, the muscle wall in the heart will thicken and want more blood supply, which makes the thickened muscle very angry and irritable if it does not get what it wants.
2. Arrhythmic Heart or Electrical Heart Problem
Arrhythmia, or an inconsistent heart beat, is an electrical heart problem that is often genetic, but an autopsy can’t find this problem.
Doctor Oz told the story of a young girl named Sarah who was 12 and turning 13 in a few weeks. Sarah was on her summer vacation and was taking a junior lifeguard course, when she asked her mom if she could play at the waterpark afterwards. Shortly after that, Sarah’s friend called and said that Sarah had collapsed. Sarah ended up dying of Sudden Cardiac Arrest, and her mother is just left with a locket of Sarah’s hair and her old swimsuit.
Sarah had some signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest, because she told her mom that her chest hurt and she felt a tightness in her chest when she played sports that involved running. Her mother took her to the doctor, but he listened to her heart and just dismissed it.
Dr. Asif Ali did a test on a group of 6th graders and found that by doing some simple tests such as an echocardiogram, he was able to find 7 children with heart conditions, and 2 kids who needed medical intervention.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest Signs & Symptoms
1. Family History
You must be proactive and know the genetic risk factors and family history.
3. Heart Palpitations
4. Tightness of the Chest
How to Prevent Death by Sudden Cardiac Arrest
1. Know Symptoms Above
2. AED (Automated External Defibrillator)
Make sure you have an automated external defibrillator at your child’s school. Sarah’s parents got the government in Texas to pass a law making all schools have automated external defibrillators and recently 2 children in Texas were saved with the AED’s.
Also, if anyone in your family under 60 dies, you must have an autopsy done so that you can determine the cause of death, because it can dramatically help future generations and your kids to know their risks.