Bid to prevent young deaths

PUBLISHED: 11:06 08 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:02 06 May 2010

SIR – I was saddened to read of the sudden death of Vincenzo Vetere at the age of only 16 years. SADS (Sudden Arrythmic Death Syndrome) UK is often contacted by people whose lives have been shattered when a seemingly healthy young person dies so unexpect

SIR - I was saddened to read of the sudden death of Vincenzo Vetere at the age of only 16 years. SADS (Sudden Arrythmic Death Syndrome) UK is often contacted by people whose lives have been shattered when a seemingly healthy young person dies so unexpectedly.

The deaths of people who are in the limelight such as the footballer Marc Vivien Foe and most recently Stephen Gately from Boyzone has highlighted these tragedies and the list of victims is long and endless; as is the passion of parents and loved ones to raise further awareness to end further tragic deaths of such vibrant young people.

SADS UK is working to improve understanding of conditions and symptoms that may indicate a person is at risk.

The charity distributes 'The Warning Signs' to training schools, medical establishments, schools and other youth organisations.

The charity especially highlights the fact that young people can suffer from cardiac conditions. SADS UK have urged Government to introduce cardiac assessment at the GP surgery to question family and personal medical history to identify people at risk of SADS.

The charity is also urging the installation of life-saving external defibrillators in all schools.

Awareness and understanding are fundamental in preventing loss of further life, both within the same family and other families as yet unaffected. The warning signs are:

· Family history of unexpected, unexplained sudden death of an apparently healthy person;

· Fainting (syncope) or seizure during physical activity, especially if it happens repeatedly;

· Fainting (syncope) or seizure resulting from emotional excitement, emotional distress, startle or on arousal from sleep;

· Consistent or unusual chest pain and/or abnormal shortness of breath during exercise.

For further information please contact, Anne Jolly, SADS UK 01277 811215, email info@sadsuk.org

ANDREA PATIENT

AED Project Manager

SADS UK

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