I have passed middle age. While not yet a relic, I am old enough that I must consider my mortality. You would think I would take more interest in exercise. I can only offer the excuse that I am “going to do it soon”.
One medical phenomenon that I was not aware of was Sudden Cardiac Death, or, SCD. I became acquainted with the concept after studying some information by Igor Singer M.D., F.R.A.C.P., F.A.C.C., .F.A.C.A. transmitted through Methodist Medical Group Cardiology; in a work entitled “Preventing Sudden Cardiac Death”.
Did you know that sudden cardiac death is the most common cause of natural death in the U.S.? Did you know that more people die from sudden cardiac death every year than Aids, Breast Cancer and Lung Cancer combined? Actually, in studying the numbers, sudden cardiac death is responsible for twice the number of deaths than the other three.
Natural Death is defined as death that occurs from the body’s cessation of function without any outside assistance (such as a gunshot wound). (Wilkipedia Sudden Cardiac Death)
People generally have some basic questions regarding sudden cardiac death. The most frequently asked question is “Isn’t SCD the same as a heart attack?” No. A heart attack involves blocking the blood flow from the vessels that feed the heart, while sudden cardiac death occurs from erroneous electrical impulses; causing the heart to pump erratically or stop altogether. (Singer Page Two)
People at risk can include previous heart attack victims; people who have current coronary artery blockages; low ejection fraction, and, family history of early, sudden death. (Singer Page Three)
Warning signs include but are not limited to, much the same signs as heart attacks, chest pain, shortness of beath on exertion, sudden fainting, or, constant irregular heartbeats.
You can help yourself from being a victim of this most potent condition by seeing a heart specialist. There are heart doctors that specialize in electrical activity of the heart.
The tests that doctors can do include an electrocardiogram; ECHO cardiography; holter or “event” monitoring; distress testing; and, “heart-rate variability.
The good new is that if you fail the screens there are more invasive procedures, such as cardiac catheterizations, that can find out what problems may exist. Further, at that point, if there is a problem, there are medications as well as implants that are available; that will protect you from sudden cardiac death.
Sudden cardiac death does not get a lot of attention. I don’t know why it doesn’t; considering how dangerous it is. As with many other conditions, the key word is prevention.
Take the time to check out whether or not you are prone to this condition. Chances are you will not be. However, if you find that you are, you will be doing yourself and your loved ones a huge favor.