Sudden Cardiac Death / Cardiac Arrest
Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is a death occurring within one hour of the onset of a recent illness. SCD is responsible for at least 300,000 deaths in the United States every year.
Most cases of SCD are due to a rapid heartbeat originating in the ventricles, called ventricular tachycardia (VT) or ventricular fibrillation (VF). These life-threatening arrhythmias are usually the result of electrical "short circuits" in a heart that has previously been scarred by some form of heart disease.
If a patient survives a cardiac arrest (via the intervention of paramedics, rescue squads, etc.), he or she is at high risk of recurrence in the future. Such recurrences can be prevented or reduced by appropriate diagnosis and treatment in high-risk patients.
return to top of page