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Protecting Children and Youth from Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Non-Heart Disease Related SCA Causes

  • Commotio Cordis is a syndrome that results from a blunt impact to the chest which leads to cardiac arrest.
  • Lyme Disease
  • Drugs or Stimulants 

Heart Related - Structural / Functional
Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia (ARVD) is a rare form of cardiomyopathy in which the heart muscle of the right ventricle (RV) is replaced by fat and/or fibrous tissue. The right ventricle is dilated and contracts poorly.
Coronary Artery Abnormalities (CAA) - Variations in coronary anatomy are often recognized in association with structural forms of congenital heart disease.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a condition in which the heart muscle becomes thick. The thickening makes it harder for blood to leave the heart, forcing the heart to work harder to pump blood.
Kawasaki Disease is an illness that involves the skin, mouth, and lymph nodes, and most often affects kids under age 5. The cause is unknown, but if the symptoms are recognized early, kids with Kawasaki disease can fully recover within a few days. Untreated, it can lead to serious complications that can affect the heart.
Marfan Syndrome is a disorder of the connective tissue. Connective tissue holds all parts of the body together and helps control how the body grows. Because connective tissue is found throughout the body, Marfan syndrome features can occur in many different parts of the body. 
Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) occurs when the valve between your heart's left upper chamber (left atrium) and the left lower chamber (left ventricle) doesn't close properly.
Myocarditis is a disease marked by inflammation and damage of the heart muscle.

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Heart Related - Electrical

Brugada Syndrome is a disorder characterized by sudden death associated with one of several ECG patterns characterized by incomplete right bundle branch block and ST elevations in the anterior precordial leads.
Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia (CPVT) is a condition characterized by an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia). As the heart rate increases in response to physical activity or emotional stress, it can trigger an abnormally fast and irregular heartbeat called ventricular tachycardia.
Long Q-T Syndrome (LQTS) is a disorder of the heart's electrical activity. It may cause you to develop a sudden, uncontrollable, and dangerous heart rhythm called an arrhythmia (ah-RITH-me-ah) in response to exercise or stress.
Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome - WPW syndrome, is the presence of an extra abnormal electrical pathway in the heart that leads to periods of a very fast heartbeat (tachycardia).  
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Underlying Causes of Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Children and Youth

The majority of underlying causes of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in children and youth are heart related.  We classify those heart related diseases in two easy to understand categories; structural problems and electrical problems.    Detailed below are some of the more common heart related diseases.  Additionally, there is a list of non-heart related problems that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest.   If you click on the link, you will be taken to a page that provides more detailed information. 

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PO Box 4860 Wilmington, DE 19808