Sudden cardiac arrest in children is a devastating event for parents. A new study shows that it may be avoidable with proper evaluation by pediatricians. One important role for pediatricians is preventative health care, that is, preventing medical problems before they arise. A common type of medical negligence arises when pediatricians neglect this important duty and skip important preventative measures like vaccines, screening for common medical conditions or seeking consultations when young patients present with complicated genetic syndromes.
Sudden cardiac arrest, which can result in sudden cardiac death, is often reported when famous young athletes die of cardiac-related complications. A new study in the journal called Pediatrics reports that cardiac arrest from congenital heart defects may be avoided by proper and thorough screening techniques. Read more here: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/03/21/peds.2012-0144.abstract.
The study reports that careful history taking by pediatricians may reveal a family history that increases the risk for cardiac events. Likewise, careful history may reveal ongoing symptoms of an underlying heart condition that have otherwise been ignored. Up to half of patients who have sudden cardiac arrest had these early warning signs. Most importantly, many of the causes of sudden cardiac arrest are treatable if caught early.