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Sudden death whilst swimming the cardiac channelopathies Dr Anthony J Handley Medical Adviser, International Lifesaving Federation of Europe Director,

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Presentation on theme: "Sudden death whilst swimming the cardiac channelopathies Dr Anthony J Handley Medical Adviser, International Lifesaving Federation of Europe Director,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Sudden death whilst swimming the cardiac channelopathies Dr Anthony J Handley Medical Adviser, International Lifesaving Federation of Europe Director, European Resuscitation Council

2 An 11-year old moderate swimmer in a supervised lesson in the shallow end of the pool He dived under water to pick up an object but failed to surface

3 A swimming instructor pulled him from the pool and lifeguards commenced CPR within 2-3 minutes In VF when paramedics arrived – could not be resuscitated

4 The findings in the lungs at autopsy were fully consistent with drowning The underlying reason as to why he ran into difficulties is not apparent from the post mortem

5 The coroner concluded: After considering the expert medical evidence, and on the balance of probability, we were unable to identify the primary event that led to Nathan Scott Matthew’s drowning

6 Causes of sudden death in the water Sudden cardiac death Heart attack or stroke Trauma causing unconsciousness Diagnosed at autopsy

7 Causes of sudden death in the water Seizures, including epilepsy No autopsy abnormalities Diving response or cold shock Shallow water blackout Sudden cardiac death

8 Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is defined as: ‘... death due to cardiac causes... within one hour of the onset of acute symptoms...’ Myerburg & Castellanos A. In Braunwald Heart Disease 1997: 742–79

9 Priori et al. Eur Heart J 2001; 22: 1374–1450 General population 1 : 1000 pa Borjesson & Pelliccia. Br J Sports Med 2009; 43: Young people (< 35yrs) (1) : 100,000 pa

10 Corrado et al. J Am Coll Cardiol 2003; 42: x the risk Non-athletes (< 35yrs) 0.7 : 100,000 pa Athletes (< 35yrs) 2.1 : 100,000 pa

11 Kenny & Martin. Arch Dis Child 2011; 96: 5-8 Estimated 1.5% – 2.5% SCD occur during swimming 1 : 100,000 young people at risk swimming-related SCD

12 Ischaemic heart disease 51% ARVC 8% Myocarditis 4% Aortic stenosis 3% Coronary abnormalities 4% HCM 7% Unexplained 11% Suárez-Mier et al Forensic Sci Int 2013; 226: SCD during sport

13 Ischaemic heart disease 14% ARVC 15% Myocarditis 5% Aortic stenosis 4% Coronary abnormalities 6% HCM 18% Unexplained 23% Suárez-Mier et al Forensic Sci Int 2013; 226: SCD during sport aged < 35 years

14 Tester & Ackerman Pediatr 2012; 33: Using strict criteria autopsy-negative SCD in younger subjects - 8%

15 Nearly 30% of under-35-year-olds who suffer autopsy-negative SUD have a cardiac channelopathy Kenny & Martin. Arch Dis Child 2011; 96: 5-8

16 An ion channel is the route that the ions (sodium, potassium, calcium) take in and out of the heart muscle cells to allow the movement of electricity

17 Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) Long QT Syndrome (LQTS) Brugada Syndrome PCCD (progressive cardiac conduction defect) Short QT syndrome (SQTS) Familial atrial fibrillation Sodium channel disease Ion channelopathies

18 Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) Long QT Syndrome (LQTS) Brugada Syndrome PCCD (progressive cardiac conduction defect) Short QT syndrome (SQTS) Familial atrial fibrillation Sodium channel disease Ion channelopathies Associated with swimming SCD

19 Normal LQTS

20 Swimming appears to be a gene-specific (KVLQT1)... trigger for LQTS... and unexplained drowning... may have a genetic basis Ackerman et al. Mayo Clin Proc 1999; 74:

21 Pre-participation screening

22 Young Competitive Athletes Family & Personal History Physical Examination ECG Negative FindingsPositive Findings Eligible for CompetitionFurther Investigations No cardiac Disease Cardiac Disease Treatment as necessary Corrado et al. Eur Heart J 2005; 26:

23 False-positive results 2% Papadakis & Sharma. Br J Sports Med 2009; 43;

24 € 30 Corrado et al. Eur Heart 2005; 26: Europe $ 75 Maron et al. Circulation 2007; 115: USA ‘Cost of preventing each… death would be $ 3.4 million’

25 € 14,220 Corrado et al. Abstract presented at American Heart Association 2004 € 37,750 Cost per year per life saved X

26 Millennium Mathematics Project, University of Cambridge NICE: National Institute of Clinical Excellence NICE's threshold for cost-effective treatment lies between £20,000 and £30,000 per QALY

27 Hope et al. Medical Ethics and Law Churchill Livingstone: Chapter 13 Kidney dialysis £ 45,000 Coronary artery bypass graft £ 26,000 Breast cancer screening £ 6,000 Cervical cancer screening £ 200 Pre-participation screening £ 12,350

28 ‘The best strategy is to combine … pre- participation identification of athletes affected … and secondary prevention with back-up defibrillation … on the athletic field.’ Corrado et al. Eur J Cardiovascular Prev & Rehab 2011; 18: Screening of athletes / participants

29 Genetic testing Accurate screening test Can trace others within the family Can make diagnosis after death BUT – expensive Bai et al. Circ Arrhythmia Electrophysiol 2009; 2: 6-15 Benefits

30 Genetic testing Bai et al. Circ Arrhythmia Electrophysiol 2009; 2: 6-15 $ 45,000 if cases of SUD $ 71,500 if screening family of SCD Winlel et al. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2012; 23:

31 Implications for lifeguards Ensure that lifeguards are aware of the conditions Consider provision of AEDs at swimming pools Refer ‘funny turns’ for a medical opinion

32 Remember that these conditions are hard or impossible to diagnose without previous event or screening Implications for lifeguards

33 ‘Support’ a lifeguard involved in such an incident … Implications for lifeguards


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