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Sport and sudden death

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in cardiology with heart, Xanit salud | Posted on 26-04-2018


Exercise is one of the most potent medicines out there, but unfortunately, in very few instances, people can experience a very catastrophic event while exercising: sudden death. Many are the cases of young boys and girls, top sportsman, highly prepared athletes, who become victims of sudden cardiac death while practising sport or undergoing a high or moderate physical exertion. However,what does sudden cardiac death implies? Why does it happen and how can we avoid it?

Dr Juan Jose Gomez Doblas, a cardiologistat Vithas Xanit International Hospital,explains in this post what sudden death is.

By sudden death we mean death that occurs unexpectedly, naturally, non-traumatically, non-violently, and in a short period. It is consideredto be related to a sports activity when the symptoms appear during the exercise or one-hourpost-exercise.

There are also cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, but this should be considered as a separate condition because it includes different causes, not always well identified and not entirely of cardiological origin.

Sudden death is not more common in athletes,but it does have a high media impact when it occurs among athletes who have a healthy lifestyleand get regular exercise. However, exercise acts as a trigger in some cardiac pathologies which in result may induce sudden death.

In some types of cardiopathy, there may be symptomssuch as chest pain or asphyxia on light physical exertion, or repeated syncopes.

The prevention of sudden deathassociated with the sportwe can base on two fundamental pillars:

1) Medical examinationbefore engaging in sports activity.

(2) The establishmentof the necessary mechanisms for appropriate cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation.

With regard towhen to undergo a medical check-up, we recommend it to those people who are over 40 years of age and who are going to engagein a particular sporting activity. Also, a full medical check-up is recommendedfor people under 40 looking to improve their exercising performance, people who present any of the related symptoms or those with a family history of sudden death.

Only in a small percentage of patients, sudden death can be hereditary.

The familyhistory of heart disease can also be related to sudden death syndrome, as well as in the caseof patients with acquired advanced cardiopathy.

We should not confuse a heart attack with sudden death, even though the most common cause of sudden death after the of age 40 is precisely heart attack. What happens is, that after an acute heart attack, an arrhythmia may be triggered, leading to sudden death.

Ideally we should all have adequate training in basic Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation so we could help those who might be suffering from the condition.It is something that we should teach the majority of the population, even at schools.