Far too often, America is stunned by the sudden death of a young person. This person seems perfectly healthy and then several hours later will die with no warning.
Sudden Adult Death Syndrome vs. Sudden Cardiac Death
A Sudden Cardiac Death is generally caused by a heart condition, known or unknown. If the condition was previously unknown, specific cause can be determined upon autopsy.
Sudden Adult Death Syndrome is also known as Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS.) When sudden death occurs with no explanation nor previous illness or accident, nor a heart condition, usually a coroner will perform tests on tissue samples, blood samples and study the organs. If the coroner cannot find a reason for the death, sometimes a cardiac pathologist will be called. The cardiac pathologist will do further tests on the heart to determine any underlying condition that contributed to death.
The use of the word 'adult' enables the distinction between different forms of Sudden Death Syndrome, making the distinction between Sudden Infant Death Syndrome - SIDS and Sudden Adult Death Syndrome - SADS.
Sudden Adult Death Syndrome events are defined as non-traumatic, non-violent, unexpected occurrences resulting from cardiac arrest within as little as six hours of previously witnessed normal health.
The Warning Signs
- Fainting (syncope) or seizure during physical activity.
- Fainting (syncope) or seizure resulting from emotional excitement, emotional distress or startle.
- Family history of unexpected sudden death during physical activity or during a seizure, or any other unexplained sudden death of an otherwise healthy young person.