Orthopedic Concerns

Sudden Cardiac Death

What is sudden cardiac death?

Sudden cardiac death is a sudden, unexpected death caused by loss of heart function. Sudden cardiac death is not a heart attack. A heart attack occurs when there is blockage in the arteries that supply the heart, causing death of heart tissue. SCD occurs when there is an electrical or other malfunction of the heart. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a common cause of sudden cardiac death in athletes, and is defined as thickened heart muscle and can block the flow of blood through the heart.


How is cardiac arrest treated?

If you suspect sudden cardiac arrest, evaluate for breathing and pulse. Start CPR if you know how to do it. Look for and utilize an AED (automated external defibrillator) if available, and call 911.


How is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy diagnosed?

An echocardiogram is the best way to diagnose this problem. EKG is also performed.


How is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy treated?

This condition can be treated with medication and lifestyle modifications. Some individuals are advised to avoid strenuous physical activity.