Mon, 29 Nov 2021 Today's Paper

Beware of the Red Flag Signs

Sudden Cardiac Deaths

5 March 2021 09:32 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Death is inevitable, but having to face it unexpectedly is not fair. That is where the need arises for you to get yourself checked crops up. Such checks help assess the status of your health, diagnose and treat underlying illnesses and optimise your quality of life. There have been pathetic instances where young athletes have died suddenly during sporting events without having been diagnosed with any serious health 
disturbing condition.

 In today’s Health Capsule we are going to discuss Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) which represents a major global health problem. This condition accounts for 15–20 % of all deaths. The other sinister issue is that SCA occurs in the community at most unexpected times. “Despite advanced health services only 6 out of 100 people who suffer SCA would be lucky to survive” says Dr Keerthi Divulwewa, Consultant Electrophysiologist, Teaching 
Hospital, Kurunegala.


 Sudden Cardiac Arrest
“Sudden cessation of the pumping capacity of the heart leading to a blood pressure crash and loss of consciousness is commonly caused by a sudden electrical instability,” explains Dr Divulwewa.
The heart conditions that lead to SCA can be broadly divided in to two categories.


  •  Hearts with primary heart rhythm issues
  • Hearts with structural abnormalities and secondary heart rhythm issues.
  • Hearts with primary heart rhythm issues

People can be born with conditions like Brugada Syndrome, Long QT syndrome and WPW syndrome which are known to run in families too. A complete heart block is also a well-known condition that can cause syncope or cardiac arrest.

Hearts with structural abnormalities and secondary heart rhythm issues

“A good example would be those who had heart attacks. In fact,  following a heart attack, the heart muscle can be permanently damaged increasing the risk of fast heart rhythms leading to collapse or death. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is another inherited condition that affects the heart muscle and causes malignant heart rhythm issues,” the doctor explained. 


Risk factors and warning signs of arrhythmia that could cause SCA 
Anyone who suffers from any form of heart condition carries a risk of sudden cardiac arrest depending on its severity. Moreover, anyone with a primary heart rhythm issue, such as complete heart block, Brugada syndrome and WPW syndromes also run the risk of Sudden 
Cardiac Arrest.

Additionally, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea or obesity are well known causes that increase the risk of having a heart attack and dying suddenly from malignant heart rhythm issues.


 Save a life
It is a known fact that many who developed SCA have previously experienced palpitations and fainting attacks. So knowing red flag signs and when to seek medical advice is extremely important because you can save a life if the right decisions are made at the right time.

It is highly advisable for anyone with heart conditions to seek advice from doctors about their risk for Sudden Cardiac Death.

 “It is prudent to seek medical advice if you have ever suffered from a fainting attack or palpitations or if you are from a family where relatives had died suddenly or are known to have suffered from heat conditions,” says Dr Divulwewa.


Only 6% of individuals would survive a Sudden Cardiac Arrest so early medical help is crucial.


Treatment and prevention
As with any other medical condition prevention is better than cure with regard to SCA as well.
 Prompt recognition of any heart condition, thereby receiving early care would minimise the risk of 
cardiac arrest.

Some conditions can be treated medially while others may require cardiac ablations or device implantations. All this depends on the type of abnormality you have, its severity and your fitness for interventions.

  Comments - 0

Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment

Focus on Laggala Gem mining big shots bigger than the law

The truth is now being uncovered regarding an illegal mining racket in state

How and why the TNA was formed twenty years ago

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is now twenty years of age. The premier pol

India lays emphasis on culture diplomacy with Sri Lanka

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted to inaugurate the Kushinagar Inter

Bittersweet memories of a ‘City that never slept’

At the heart of Eastern Province lies a now abandoned ghost town punctuated w