Cardiac Risk in the Young is a national UK charity formed in 1995 to raise awareness of heart conditions and defects which if undetected can lead to sudden death - SADS in young people (under 35). The links below all point to pages within the Cardiac Risk in the Young Web site which I maintain.
In February 2004 a new Web site SADS - Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome was launched to allow access to a booklet produced by Cardiac Risk in the Young with sponsorship from the British Heart Foundation to help families understand more about the conditions.
My work with CRY has involved helping to raise awareness primarily by developing their Web site. A resource for families who have suffered a loss or are concerned about symptoms which may indicate one of the several causes of sudden cardiac death. The site contains medical information written by specialist cardiologists and information about treatments such as pacemakers, defibrillators and ablation. The site also has areas about fundraising and media exposure, which are updated weekly.
In the UK unexplained sudden
death is frequently recorded as due to death from natural causes. Experts
believe that most of these deaths are due to Sudden
Death Syndrome or Sudden
Cardiac Death often referred to as SADS. Until the law is changed and coroners have to refer hearts on
will not know the true figures.
Any death of which the cause is
not immediately known has by law to be reported to the Coroner. This is in
addition to deaths that are due to non - natural causes. One third of all deaths
are now reported to the Coroner
If it can be established,
clearly and reasonably quickly, that the death is not due to some non - natural
causes or outside influence such as injury, drugs, poisoning, etc., but is due
to a cause, however unexpected or rare, that arises from spontaneously occurring
physiology, then the death will be certified by the Coroner as due to natural
causes. That cause will be stated and documents will be issued to enable the
death to be registered and the funeral to go ahead.
deaths are classified as death from
natural causes. Yet there can be nothing less natural than to lose an active
young person in this way. Frequently there have been no apparent symptoms.
Usually the young person will have died whilst engaged in some perfectly normal
activity of eating, drinking, taking exercise or in their sleep.
death of a child or young adult is so totally out of order with the sequence of
life that it can have devastating consequences within the family.
With sudden death syndrome or
sudden cardiac death not only has there been no preparation for such a death as
in terminal illness, nor is the death accidental when there is an obvious and
direct link between an occurrence and the tragic consequences. This can lead to
those closest to the one that has died blaming themselves for overlooking
possible symptoms. Dealing with their terrible loss is then compounded by
feelings of guilt.
See Living with
See Living with loss
the way you feel about what has happened is very important. It is not always
easy to do this with others that are suffering directly from the same loss.